PEI

Basin Head beach closed until at least Canada Day weekend

The beach at Basin Head Provincial Park will be inaccessible until at least Canada Day weekend because of safety concerns, the province said.

'You can’t go there and enjoy the beaches just yet'

Darrell Evans, assistant director of capital projects with the province, says fingers are crossed the provincial park will be ready by the Canada Day long weekend. (Jay Scotland/CBC)

The beach at Basin Head Provincial Park will be inaccessible until at least Canada Day weekend because of safety concerns, the province says.

The bridge and wharf at the park are popular spots for swimmers to leap into the water, but portions have been barricaded off over the last month due to safety concerns.

"Right now there is no access down to the beach by either the boardwalk or the access road. It's all shut off to the public," said Darrell Evans, assistant director of capital projects for the province.

"You can go to Basin Head and enjoy the museum, but you can't go there and enjoy the beaches just yet."

Evans said the hope is that the province will be able to have the provincial park ready by the long weekend in July.

Lots of work to be done

'We're getting geared up to do a little dredging between the two wharves — the east and west wharf where the sand filled in over the winter,' says Evans. (Jay Scotland/CBC)

Last week, the province placed barricades near the wharf. The province said bridge engineers noticed structural damage beneath the wharf while preparing to dredge the channel and deemed it unsafe for public use.

"We had to repair six piles on the original wharf, which is right where the pedestrian bridge is," Evans said. Piles are large poles.

The timber deck will have to be ripped up and two new piles will be set alongside existing piles. Evans said he is unsure how long that work will take, but it is expected to begin this week.

Last month, the province restricted access to the wharf and the bridge that crosses the channel because of other safety concerns. The channel became too shallow — about a metre deep — after a major storm caused it to fill with sand over the winter months and officials were worried someone could jump in and hurt themselves.

"We're getting geared up to do a little dredging between the two wharves — the east and west wharf where the sand filled in over the winter," Evans said.

That work is expected to start over the next few days and is expected to be finished in a week, Evans said.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker

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