Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday July 27, 2017
No guarantee Hamilton’s waterfront trail will open this summer
Uncertainty over the extent of flood damage to Hamilton’s waterfront trail means there is no guarantee the popular path will reopen this summer.
The mystery timeline has upset users of one of the city’s most popular trails and forced the relocation of cycling and running scheduled as far ahead as September.
Record spring water levels flooded large swaths of the trail in April, prompting the city to fence off the paved path between Princess Point and Bayfront Park.
Water levels have since receded — spurring pointed questions from residents as well as trespassing — but not enough for the city to assess damage to the trail caused by flooding and pounding waves.
“We know people are impatient, we are getting all those questions. We hope to have the answers soon,” said parks manager Kara Bunn, who is waiting on a final assessment and recommendations from consultant Shoreplan Engineering. “But we know for sure some sections are unsafe.”
The Spectator paddled alongside and, at one point, over top the trail Tuesday to eyeball the damage.
The only remaining drowned section of paved trail includes several metres curving around Cootes Paradise and across from Princess Point.
But asphalt is clearly crumbling into Hamilton Harbour at several locations between the mouth of the Desjardins Canal and the temporary gate near Bayfront Park. In a few spots, the water has clearly undermined the path, despite temporary canvas barriers and sandbags visible along the shoreline. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)