Reconstruction of Saint Andrews wharf starts in fall

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Saint Andrews council chose concrete for the wharf over the other options, wood and large blocks of stone cut from a quarry. (Town of Saint Andrews - image credit)
Saint Andrews council chose concrete for the wharf over the other options, wood and large blocks of stone cut from a quarry. (Town of Saint Andrews - image credit)

A Saint Andrews landmark is set to get a facelift. The wharf in the centre of town will be the recipient of a multi-million dollar refurbishment.

Close to $3.5 million will be used to replace the approach to the wharf, $588,000 to restore the intermediate structure, $674,000 to restore the pier head and $340,000 to rebuild the seawall.

At a meeting Monday night, councillors decided to replace the aging wooden structure with one made of concrete. The other options were wood and armour stone, which are large blocks of stone cut from a quarry.

Mayor Doug Naish said concrete turned out to be a compromise material for the wharf.

"The option of going with armour stone completely changed the look of the waterfront so much that we got a tremendous amount of input from the public that they thought that would change the whole nature of the downtown," said Naish.

"That wasn't the preferred option for many people, as well as many people on council."

Naish said it was important the new wharf fit in with the historic downtown.

And while concrete isn't a material used much in the old buildings that line Water Street, Naish said a concrete wharf won't take away from the historic community's ambience.

"It's mostly concrete in the understructure, replacing the wooden pilings, it's really concrete piers," said Naish.

"It'll look the same from underneath as small bridges do ... but it will be much more durable. It will last much longer and it will have less life-cycle costs than putting wood back in place."

While concrete isn’t a material used much in the old buildings that line Water Street, Naish says a concrete wharf won’t take away from the historic community’s ambience.
While concrete isn’t a material used much in the old buildings that line Water Street, Naish says a concrete wharf won’t take away from the historic community’s ambience. (Town of Saint Andrews)

Naish said the town received funding for the new wharf last week and the next step is to do environmental assessments and an engineering study on the design.

He hopes construction can start in the fall and said it will take two to three years to complete.

The reason for the extended timetable is the town hopes to keep the wharf open during the tourist season, which is important for the Saint Andrews economy.

"We will very religiously work around the summer tourism season because, of course, our wharf is a commercial wharf mainly," said Naish.

"It has many recreational purposes, but we count on the commercial uses of the wharf to pay the overhead of running the wharf, which is not insignificant. "