The $4-million project to replace the failed Hantsport aboiteau is to begin next week.
The aboiteau at the mouth of the Halfway River failed in the fall of 2017. Since then, there has been a twice-daily influx of saltwater, which has caused severe flooding of once-fertile fields, killed off a variety of trees and vegetation and has been eroding the riverbanks.
“We recognized the urgency of the situation and acted on the concerns brought forward by the community,” Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines said in a news release.
On Jan. 4, about 500 people protested along Highway 1, chanting: “Save the aboiteau, stop the flow.” Later that day, the province committed to a temporary fix.
The aboiteau and its wooden box culverts are to be replaced by two concrete box culverts, said the release. The water flow is expected to be the same as it was before the aboiteau failed.
“By providing a permanent solution, we are ensuring the protection of agricultural lands and public infrastructure while also enabling appropriate fish passage,” said Hines.
The project is expected to be complete in five weeks, with construction finishing before spring high tide and runoff.
The province hopes to recover the cost of the work from the Windsor and Hantsport Railway Company.
With files from Carole Morris-Underhill, Hants Journal