PORT HOOD: Members of Inverness Municipal Council are currently putting together a plan of attack to improve the state of the wharfs in Port Hood and on Port Hood Island.

“We have the engineer’s study for the wharfs in Port Hood,” said Betty Ann MacQuarrie, the warden of the county. “At this time, there’s a concrete barrier to keep people from driving onto the wharf, for safety’s sake. We also have signs up saying no swimming.

“Whether or not people are heeding that, we’re not sure. But we’re going to be looking at the engineer’s study and hopefully getting some work done.”

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The study was prepared by Strait Engineering, and the Port Hawkesbury-based engineering company has been fine-tuning the document since last April. MacQuarrie said the report was delivered earlier their month.

Photo by Grant McDaniel
The government wharf in Port Hood is now blocked to traffic. County council recently received an engineer’s study on damages to it and its neighbouring wharf on Port Hood Island.

The wharfs have been falling into disrepair for many, many years. However, both wharfs were damaged extensively during a winter storm on December 16. On the Port Hood side, a significant section of the wharf is now underwater.

The government wharf in Port Hood currently has one fisherman fishing from there, and there’s also a boat ferrying people from the mainland to the island. People are still able to walk on the wharf, but they aren’t allowed to take vehicles onto the structure.

“People have to be careful because of the damage,” the warden said.

“We don’t want an incident to occur and someone get hurt. There’s also quite a bit of damage on the Port Hood Island side as well.”

MacQuarrie noted that there’s only one wharf on the island. Port Hood has the government wharf along with a wharf at Murphy’s Pond, but that access point is made more complicated by a breakwater which can be difficult to navigate.

The warden pointed out that during the summer, there are a fair number of people on the island. They pay taxes and contribute to the economy, she said.

She said she’s like to see work begin in the near future.

“We’d like to see some work done late summer or in the early fall,” MacQuarrie said.

“To what extent, I’m not sure. We’re pretty sure the province will help with some funding assistance. It’s a big expense for the municipality. Even though the two wharfs are municipally owned, the province is going to help with the costs.”