Matane Breakwater Rehabilitation

The Port of Matane, located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River estuary, is an important commercial harbour in the Gaspé region of Québec. The breakwater had been under designed and damaged over time and a long-term solution was required.

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Public Works & Government Services Canada
Matane, Quebec
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Matane, Quebec

Project Highlights

The main breakwater, built in 1967, is a conventional rubblemound structure protected by armour stone and Tetrapods. Extensive field investigations and physical modeling assessed the cause of damage and supported the development of the final design and construction of the comprehensive rehabilitation solution.


  • Breakwater length ~ 1,700 m
  • Maximum water depth ~ -14 m CD
  • Extreme water level range ~ 5 m
  • Design Hs /Tp ~ 5 m/11 s
  • Severe ice conditions

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Project Challenges

  • Breakwater damage mechanisms were not well understood.
  • Define local ice climatology.
  • Assess the damage caused by waves versus ice.
  • Evaluate the most cost-effective rehabilitation alternative.

Baird Solutions

  • Extensive historical information review, detailed breakwater survey/inspection, and interviews with local experts were completed.
  • Literature review, interviews with local ferry captains, and evaluation of historic photographs of ice conditions provided the necessary information.
  • Damage by waves was simulated in a physical model while ice damage was estimated from assessments described above.
  • Desktop analyses and numerical modeling were combined with physical model evaluations for the best design concepts.

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