Work is to begin next week on the final two phases of the Centennial Park remediation.
A new boat launch will be built, a seawall promenade erected, the Dow People Place renovated and a new children’s playground opened.
London-based Bre-Ex Construction will be paid $7 million to complete the work over the next 18 weeks, weather permitting.
The contract includes $5.6 million budgeted already by city council, plus another $1.4 million to replace vulnerable sewer and water lines.
The unforeseen spending is to prevent old watermains from breaking and pushing up soil and exposing new park amenities to contamination.
About $3.3 million was spent earlier containing the asbestos and heavy metals that shut down the park in 2013, bringing the total bill to more than $10 million.
The work getting underway after July 4 includes:
- A new boat launch and completion of paving at Sarnia Bay Marina.
- Renovating of the Dow People Place. The gathering area will feature a plaza, a small covered performance stage, an activity centre and a concession booth.
- A stone seawall running from the former MacLean Centre to the marina’s boat fueling station.
- A promenade atop the new seawall.
- A children’s playground. Bluewaterland Rotary has donated $150,000 toward the playground and a new “healing” garden.
- Moving topsoil scraped earlier from the park to create a berm at the boat launch parking lots.
- The relocation of three memorials and the planting of new native trees and shrubs.
The initial plan was to extend the seaway 30 feet into Sarnia Bay but the Environment Ministry said that would encroach on natural fish habitat and nixed the idea.
The new amenities will be wheelchair accessible, with charging stations for mobility devices.
While construction is under way, the entire parking lot on the east side of Centennial will once again be closed off for use as a staging area.