Now that flood waters have mostly receded the Town of Fort Frances has been able to proceed with some much-delayed road work and flood remediation.
Travis Rob is the Manager of Operations and Facilities for the Town and he says things are starting to get back to normal but will take some work to get things back to where they were before flooding.
“We’re still very much working on clean up efforts,” Rob said. “We did finally get all the sandbags up off the Front St. area. We have a few left on the south beach at The Point, we’re just waiting to get a crane in there to lift those out.”
While the flood prevention measures are still being removed, damages to flood affected areas are still being surveyed.
“We’re working now on some more of the hard infrastructure things,” he said. “Getting prices on some storm sewer replacement. Some storm sewers failed as a result of being flooded. I’m also working with contractors looking at some different opportunities to do some shoreline remediation where we had some erosion happening, mostly at the first phase of the waterfront development around the docks and things like that. I’m also working with some different contractors to try and do remediation at Sunny Cove. Everyone is busy because everyone’s trying to do all of their summer work.”
Part of the work at Sunny Cove includes enlisting a tug boat with the equipment required to remove a large floating bog that has nestled into the cove.
In addition to flood recovery, there have also been the regular projects which were planned before the flooding that town workers have fallen behind on because they were pulled away from regular duties to deal with flooding.
“We lost most of May and June,” Rob said. “Due to mostly being dedicated to either flood mitigation or protection or various flood related work. So we’re basically two months behind on all of our work. We’ve got lots of sidewalk repairs to do, curb repairs to do, new driveway entrances that people are looking for. We’ve done basically no line painting.”
A lot of staff resources were taken up with flood work and other things fell behind.
“We pulled staff resources to do things like putting out sandbags, then comes the time that flood waters recede, now we have to put those resources back on collecting sandbags, so it’s really dramatically put us behind our normal work for the year.”
Another project that’s been delayed by the flooding is the replacement of docks at the Sorting Gap Marina.
“We did take shipment of our second phase dock replacement for the Sorting Gap,” Rob said. “Of course we would have loved to have done that first thing this spring, however with the rising water levels and very high flows, it just wasn’t safe for us
to put our crews and equipment in the water and start trying to move the docks around in that area. I’m hopeful that, weather depending, we might be able to get to replacing some of those docks this fall. If we can’t do that, again weather depending, we will obviously have all the docks here ready to roll for the springtime.”
On top of that kind of project there is also road work to be considered. Most of that work is being done by contractors including Mowat Ave. between Scott. St. and Second St. and the work along King’s Highway. Another project that may be delayed is rehabilitation on Sinclair St. between Victoria and Armit. Aves.
Rob says work is progressing well on the first two projects but there is some uncertainty about the Sinclair project because of the extent of the flooding.
“The big challenge that we have is with Sinclair Ave.” Rob said. “I was hoping to be well on our way with that one, however a fairly substantial portion of that construction site, in terms of actual areas we would have been digging, was underwater during the height of the flooding. So, of course we couldn’t be digging in there when it was under water so that put a big stall on that project.”
Much of the other work is on time and at this point expected to be completed without delay. Including patch work to be done on areas like those on Second St. East where work has been done to infrastructure under the road.
“I spoke with the paving contractor yesterday,” Rob said. “They are getting their paperwork in order and will be mobilizing possibly next week or within the next week or two.”