</br“This is the current view of the Truax Dam in Walkerton. – GSS Engineering Consultants Ltd.” This is the current view of the Truax Dam in Walkerton. - GSS Engineering Consultants Ltd.
This is an artists rendition of the proposed changes to the Truax Dam in Walkerton. – GSS Engineering Consultants Ltd.

April 15, 2019, by Don Crosby, Walkerton Herald-Times

WALKERTON — Saugeen Conservation removed the final obstacle to demolition of part of the Truax Dam. The concern was weather removing part of the dam would further erode “the cliff” high earthen ban along the Saugeen River just upstream from Yonge St.

“It’s like a big oxbow corner in the river and the river has been grinding away at that cliff for years and years and it’s been a concern among councils since the 1980s,” said engineer Jeff Graham.

Graham says while the project engineers are fairly confident the removal of the dam will not cause additional erosion, they had to be able to prove this to Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority (SVCA) staff beyond a doubt.

“It’s in an active stage of erosion now, so our recommendation is that the cliff is in an active stage of erosion now before the dam comes out; we don’t think we’re going to make the erosion of that cliff any worse than it is now after we take the dam out, but our modelling hasn’t been able to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that is the case,” he said.

Wayne Brohman, general manager of Saugeen Conservation, said the board of directors were satisfied with the engineer’s explanation and issued a permit.

The permit included several conditions that the engineers have to meet, such as allowing SVCA onto the site of the work to make sure it’s being done according to the permit.

Graham was satisfied that the conditions were not unexpected and in keeping with the project.

“I thought they were very fair, so we look forward in the next step,” he said.

He is still waiting for approval by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), but he expects to have that soon.

“They were interested in knowing how we were making out with Saugeen Valley (Conservation).”

Graham said he has answered all of their concerns.

The next step is for Brockton council to approve the contract by Moorefield Construction for $550,000. Cost of the demolition is being paid for by Bruce Power.

Graham said initial prep work on the shoreline, such as building a temporary access road around the dam, will likely begin around Aug. 1.

“We anticipate most of the dam would be broken out between the middle of August and middle of September,” he said.

Removal of part of the dam promises to improve fish migration and address liability and safety concerns for Brockton.

STORY BEHIND THE STORY: This project has been in the works for a couple of years and has finally jumped through its final hoop.