By Ben Forrest
Simcoe, Jul 17, 2015 — A project aimed at helping sensitive species get across the Long Point Causeway can enter its next phase, pending funding allocations and other approvals.
Norfolk council has approved the third phase of the project, which would create aquatic culverts designed to help species get from one side of the causeway to the other, without crossing the road.
This phase of the project has an estimated $920,000 price tag but would be paid for entirely with funding from the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation. The foundation has secured $580,000 from the federal National Wetlands Conservation Fund and is seeking $300,000 from the United States Sustain Our Great Lakes Program.
Another $40,000 from the Canada-Ontario Agreement is also pending approval.
If the project proceeds, the county would facilitate the design and construction process.
Norfolk would provide in-kind services, ensuring project documents adhere to county design requirements and its purchasing policy and helping with construction administration. It is proposed this phase of the project be constructed in two phases, with one culvert installed this year and another next year.
Grant funds will be unavailable after March 31, 2017, so all construction must be finished and project payment requests made by that date, according to a county report.
Two previous phases of culvert construction were completed in 2012 and 2014, with all funding other than about $60,000 in the first phase provided through grants awarded to the biosphere reserve foundation.