The Thornbury Pier will not be opened to the public in June as previously promised.
At a council meeting held on Monday afternoon, Town of The Blue Mountains’ (TBM) staff announced that the Thornbury Pier reconstruction project will not be completed until approximately Aug. 13.
Since late last year, town staff had repeated their intentions to have the pier completed for the 2021 summer season, as the pier was closed for the entire summer season last year.
As recently as June 11, town staff had confirmed the pier would be opening by the end of the month.
Now, with the heat of July just around the corner, TBM staff confirm the pier will remain closed for an additional seven weeks.
Ryan Gibbons, director of community services for TBM said the delay has been caused by “unexpected discoveries once the former concrete decking was removed.”
“Upon removal of the concrete decking, it was found that the sheet pilings were uneven and required torch cutting to level them,” stated Gibbons.
“Some of this was expected but not to the extent that was found. Essentially each sheet pile had to be cut, which is approximately 900-feet when considering both sides of the pier. Because of this additional cutting, each of these areas requires a flat bar to be purchased and welded to support the cap piling which is required for pouring the new concrete deck,” he continued.
The additional work will require the use of a barge that will serve as a work platform. Project contractors will also be required to hire a subcontractor to perform the work.
“I believe the previous completion date was for before the start of summer ‘21. And this would move us into the mid-August range,” Gibbons said.
On top of the extended timeline, the project will also require an additional $140,000 to complete.
“These are unfortunate discoveries but we are part way into it with the goal in mind that we want to make sure that we have good, safe, long-term access for pedestrians down by the pier,” said TBM councillor Andrea Matrosovs.
The project costs now total $589,470, which will be drawn from the community service asset replacement reserve fund.
Town staff note that they reached out to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFOC), who owns the pier property, for additional financial support, however the DFOC have already provided approximately $35,000 to the project and will not contribute any additional funds to a project they have already supported.
“Members of the public are just going to have to understand that we can't always do things as quickly as we'd like to, or as simply as we'd like to, because there's a lot more to it,” said TBM deputy mayor, Rob Potter.
“Let's get it done and let's get it done right. It's unfortunate, but it's the right thing to do,” concluded Potter.
In addition to approving the upset limit for construction and the extended timeline, council members also passed a motion that will direct staff to review the town’s process for project management and incorporate any recommended changes into the 2022 budget deliberations for council’s consideration.
Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca