Digby wharf projects should finish by end of July

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier jriley@digbycourier.ca
Published on June 23, 2014

The Digby wharf shouldn’t need any more significant infrastructure projects in the near future.

Three major construction and renovation projects, totalling $7.4 million, have just wrapped up or are nearing completion at the Digby wharf.

Tri-County Construction of Yarmouth has finished installing new fender piles to the inside and outside face of the old section of wharf, out to where the former middle ell used to be.

That project cost $173,000.

D.J. Lowe Construction will finish repairs to the marginal wharf (along the edge of the parking lot) either this week or next.

They have been rebolting and replacing rotting supports under the wharf.

This section of the wharf was constructed in 1967 and hasn’t needed any major repairs until now.

That project started in mid-March and cost $146,000.

Jeff Sunderland, project manager at the wharf, says Western Specialty Contracting is now shooting for the end of July as their target date for finishing the breakwater.

Western Specialty Contracting started work on the breakwater at the end of April 2013 and has so far deposited 175,000 tonnes of material to the site.

Western Specialty Contracting was originally supposed to finish the project by last November but changed their plans after an excavator slipped off the breakwater and into the Annapolis Basin on May 17 last year.

Sunderland says the wharf association intentionally didn’t include any penalties for late completion into any of these projects, given the difficulties of working on the shore.

“We’ve had some discussions and we’ve tried to be a flexible client and we’ve been fortunate to work with a flexible contractor,” said Sunderland. “We were flexible on the dates and not on the money.”

Western Specialty has installed the last of 13 wooden cribs and filled them with rock.

They are now working back and adding another 9 metres onto the cribs.

Each crib is divided into four and the contractor will be filling two sections of each crib on the way back.

There is also a little more armor rock to be placed and minor cleaning up on the surface of the breakwater.

Sunderland says they are also considering some concrete repairs on the outside of the wharf where it took some damage back in 2008. They made minor repairs at the time but put off major work until the breakwater was in place.

West Nova MP Greg Kerr announced $7.6 million in funding for wharf repairs in 2012 wwhich also included demolition of the middle ell and the installation of floating docks.

Once the concrete work is done, Sunderland says the wharf maintenance should be manageable for the wharf association going forward.

“Every aspect of the wharf we had wanted to fix back in 2008 will be addressed,” he said. “Our goal was to put the wharf in a condition where the maintenance would be manageable—that is, it could be managed by the board without any more major infrastructure projects.

“It is gratifying to see the wharf put in this condition for the fleet. It is gratifying for the board and for me.”