The Town of Marathon has broken ground on its Pebble Beach development project earlier this week.
The $1.35-million project is planned to be completed by November by RML Construction and will see the construction of terraced viewing platforms, accessible walkways, bathroom facilities, and a boardwalk.
Marathon Mayor Rick Dumas hopes the project will promote the north shore community.
“Anytime you can put a shovel in the ground and get some things done to enhance community for residents and businesses alike, it's amazing because it's only one more thing that we we promote as a small northern community. It's quality of life, you know, come to work here, there's good wages, good, safe, community,” Dumas said.
Pebble Beach is a tourism and community well-being project. which will provide a new viewing area atop a bluff overlooking the impressive north shore of Lake Superior. The beach is a roughly two-kilometre stretch of scenic shoreline of rounded rocks, pebbles and driftwood, smoothed by wave action.
The Town originally received $450,000 from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund to help with the project, but Dumas said that after the COVID-19 pandemic expenses for the project became “enormous”.
“For the plans, we had looked at for Pebble Beach itself, we were looked at about $1 million, and came back almost close to $2 million,” he said.
“We had to scale back on some of the ideas we want to put it in and we're going to do those things over a phase-in period. So, for this round, we're going to do the park, add some viewing decks, landscaping some soft lighting, some walkways along the front corner overlooking the lake, as well as the walkway down to the actual waterways itself.”
With this project underway, Dumas said that the town is looking forward to any other projects to enhance Pebble Beach as well as tying it in with the Group of Seven Trail.
"We've been funding them for many years and now we have a trail system that comes all the way from [Biigtigong Nishnaabeg], which is our neighbouring First Nation community just to the other side of Pukaskwa National Park, and we're going to eventually get all the way to Neys (Provincial Park),” he said.
“That will be the identifying spots that Group of Seven painted through the through the '20s and into the '30s, and there's many spots, I think 160 locations along that trail system that they painted, so that's the key, connecting Pebble along with Carden Cove along with Sturdee Cove and, you know, just to continue to enhance the trail system and enjoy it.”