Wire mesh, more planking and stones in lighthouse’s future

An easy fix

Eric McCarthy newsroom@journalpioneer.com
Published on December 5, 2016

The West Point Development Corporation is hoping to soon plug a gap in the barrier that protects the West Point Lighthouse from pounding surf.

©Eric McCarthy/TC Media

WEST POINT – The president of the West Point Development Corporation says he believes some relatively simple repairs to a seawall will provide the necessary protection for the corporation’s West Point Lighthouse.

Waves were washing almost to the lower level decks of the lighthouse inn on Saturday after extreme high tides eroded beach sand and allowed rock to wash out from under a large section of the lighthouse’s seawall protection.

Harvey Stewart suggested adding planking to the exposed section of the wall’s support system, adding gabion basket wire and replacing the missing rocks will re-establish the protection. “It’s just a few extra planks, some wire and more rock and away we go again,” he assessed.

“It saved the place for the last five years,” he said of the wall’s function.

The West Point Development Corporation contracted Coastal Seawall Industries in 2011 to install a Langley Wall to protect its iconic structure. That came one year after a vicious storm ripped away the building’s natural protection, a sand dune out front.

O’Leary-Inverness MLA Robert Henderson was out to view the erosion Monday morning and agreed with Stewart that last week’s damage can be repaired fairly easily.

“It’s bad there was damage; good that the lighthouse wasn’t compromised,” he said.

Henderson said he would work to help the Development Corporation get funding and environmental permits in hopes of getting repairs started soon.

“I don’t think we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars,” he said; “it doesn’t look complicated.”

He said the Langley Wall was originally identified as the best solution because of its aesthetic value and because “it’s not a big job to put some sand and rock back in.”

But Henderson pointed out the wall protects only the development corporation’s property while erosion continues to eat away at the sand dunes to either side.

Stewart estimates the tidal action that pulled rocks from the Langley wall, also carved more than 100 meters off of the point between the lighthouse and the West Point Harbour.