Phase two of the Lorne Street reconstruction project will likely include three ponds to store storm water that flows into the downtown from the old Sackville quarry during heavy rains.
Pierre Plourde of Crandall Engineering showed a diagram of the ponds, which are still being designed, during a public meeting held at the Town Hall on November 1st.
Although the plans are still preliminary, Plourde explained that the ponds appear to be the best choice for retaining large volumes of storm water especially at high tide.
“We need to make sure that we can fill those ponds as fast as possible,” he said pointing to large pipes that will carry water under Lorne, St. James and Charles Streets as well as under the CN Rail line. (Pipes marked in red on diagram above).
“As it rains, you’re bringing a lot of water to these ponds,” he said. “When the water cannot go out anymore, water goes up in these ponds and when the tide goes down, water can be directed away.”
The diagram shows the pipes, ditches and a new aboiteau that would convey the water from pond number three to the river as the tide recedes.
Location of ponds
Town engineer Dwayne Acton said pond three would be located on town-owned property behind the community gardens while pond two would be just south of St. James Street.
He explained that the town plans to work with Ducks Unlimited to create the smaller pond number one, near the Marshlands Inn, as a kind of extension to the Waterfowl Park.
“Pond number two and pond number three are what we call ‘dry’ ponds,” Plourde said adding, “They’re there to hold water during a major storm event.”
At other times, the two larger ponds will mainly be dry with no more than a small channel flowing through them.
Plourde said the project would require an environmental impact assessment and approval from the provincial environment department.
Sabine Dietz, a local environmental consultant, congratulated the engineers on adopting new ways of managing storm water, but also wondered about landscaping the two larger ponds.
“You’ve got a huge opportunity to do something besides just dry ponds,” she said pointing to the possibility of planting trees and creating walking trails that would become assets for the town.
“You’ve got so much space there, I’m really excited about this, what you could do with it,” Dietz said.
“I feel the same way,” Dwayne Acton replied adding that as a resident of the town he would like to see “a beautiful facility that yes, can hold a lot of water, but also, we can walk around it, we can see birds and exercise and I think that is something we are going to try to aim for.”
Phase Two of the Lorne Street project will cost about $2.9 million. The federal government will pay $1.45 million with the town and the province each contributing about $725,000.