While the Victoria Day long weekend marked the opening of most of Nova Scotia's provincial parks for the season, Cape Breton's Dominion Beach remained closed as part of a major construction project to stabilize the beach.

Darren Bruckschwaiger, a councillor for the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, said a berm is being built to protect the beach from wind and waves.

"We're going to have a big wall there and it's going to be a protection," he told CBC News.

"We will have the odd storm that will go over but at the end of the day, I don't believe the rocks will be moved. It's great work going on here in Dominion."

Northern Contracting of Sydney Mines is spearheading the project, which is taking place in three phases. The construction of the berm is the first phase, while the second will see the wooden boardwalk replaced and the final work will fix the beach's buildings.

"They put the rock in place. They dug down until they got solid ground away from the sand. Then they started with seven-tonne minimum rock and they continued up and they layered it back," said Bruckschwaiger.

"When they're finished with that, the complete rock formation, then they take the earth that they dug up, put it in back of it and then they put hydro seed on it to protect it and make it more solid so it doesn't move."

Donnie Campbell, a former deputy mayor of Dominion, said the community has been struggling for years about what to do to protect the beach, which has been battered by severe weather over the past few years.

He said he's pleased with what's happening now.

"I think this should have been done years ago," he said.

"We were only playing with this thing for years, doing a little bit of work, but it wasn't doing anything."

Bruckschwaiger said he expects the berm to be in place in June, in time for the summer storm season.

The provincial government is spending $1.5 million on the project.


  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the company involved as Northern Construction of New Brunswick.
    May 21, 2013 4:35 PM AT