Saint Andrews considers wharf renovation options

·3 min read

Three options for a wharf refurbishment with a planned start date for late 2021 were proposed at a special Saint Andrews town council meeting on Monday.

It's estimated the total cost of the project will be $5 million, including remodelling the structure and wrapping the pier with steel pier heads, said Chris Spear, the town's CAO, who gave a presentation to council. Each option has a different price tag and longevity projection.

The repairs needed with the current structure, he said, would amount to a $1 million or $1.5 million dollars over the next 10 years. Yet the town would still be left with a wharf with a slowly rotting structure of wood underneath. He said, however, it's "not unsafe yet."

"The key element is not just economical, but also that it will last forever and also meets the criteria of sea level rise."

In the past decade, Spear said, the wharf has already seen renovations that totalled $2.3 million. That money went toward a new ramp, new bathrooms and office, new lower pontoons, new wave break, a boat and the repairs to three sections of approach.

Much of the funding for a full refurbishment – up to 70 per cent – would come from the federal government, Spear said. Recently, the town was told the funding was going to "move forward for further consideration," said Spear.

He presented three options to council: an armour stone breakwater, a concrete structure wharf or a wooden structure replacement of the current wharf design.

The breakwater style was the focus of the presentation. Concept images of the two other options will be available in January, hopefully, said town clerk Paul Nopper.

The breakwater wharf model is surrounded by piles of stone on the section of the wharf closest to shore. That first section also has a walkway and Spear said there's a potential to set up benches or kiosks on that part. There's also a staircase down to the beach at the start of the wharf.

The concrete wharf would look similarly to how the wharf looks now. Cement beams would go underneath the wharf while additionally supported by wood.

A complete wooden structure replacement, which would be similar to the wharf now, would cost an estimated $3.4 million, while the armour stone breakwater is estimated to cost $3 million, and the concrete structure on piles $2.9 million.

The wooden structure would cost the most and will deteriorate faster, said Spear.

The concrete structure does have a longer lifecycle than wood, said Spear, but when it breaks, it starts to crack and it would cost more to repair than the breakwater style.

Armour stone would be able to easy to build and if there's a major event such as a storm, they can make repairs with local stones and not have to bring in specialists. The style would also be able to withstand more wear, said Spear. It can be repaired with minimal cost. It's also makes it easier to raise the wharf an additional half metre, he said.

"It's certainly different from our traditional wharf, but from an engineering and cost perspective, much superior," Spear said.

There will be a public consultation on Jan. 20 and a motion to proceed presented at a February or March meeting of Saint Andrews council. Nopper also said there might be two public consultations. The project would take two to three years to build, with work being done during the winter, said Spear.

The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada.

Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal