A collected sigh of relief was heard when the communications and events people talked about how the pier opening would be handled.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  March 26, 2013  The Spin Doctors are taking centre stage now that the last of the concrete on the pier deck has been poured.  The city manager has already hired people who specialize in spinning legal matters, which appears to be a skill set the communications people at city hall don’t have – so the city manager is going to set aside ten big ones to cover the cost of explaining some expected news on the legal side of getting that pier build and how we went from just under $7 million to just under $20 million.

The pier will be illuminated with lights that change their pattern and their colour whenever the software tells them to change.  The fireworks to the right is part of the Sound of Music budget.

There is good news though.  Staff is getting absolutely giddy and talking about opening the pier in 67 days and planning for that event.  People from the events department and the communications people are moving to centre stage to make it all happen.

An artists rendering of what the completed pier is going to look like.  Those brown rails will be painted Burlington blue.  The caissons that hold the pier up will also be illuminated.

On the construction side things are going great.  There is an artist’s rendering of what it is going to look like when you are able to walk out to the end.

Some of the light standards have been erected and they are powered up.

The public got told that there is going to be a computer application that will control the lights that will adorn the pier and the beacon that is to be installed – no wind turbine however, that got thrown under the bus when the city’s Director of engineering forgot to read the manual and didn’t know what had been installed in terms of electric equipment.

Craig Stevens, the go between for the city and the contractor, told a council committee meeting that the software that runs the lights will be able to do almost anything.  “As Stevens put it, “If you can think it we can blink it”.

Expect to see some weird light patterns coming from that pier during the first six months while the techies get the hang of the software.  The beacon will look like a lighthouse on the horizon.  It will certainly change the waterfront view of the city.

That yellow patch will be shutdown to repair the promenade that will lead to the pier entrance.

The promenade running from Lakeshore Road down to the start of the pier will be closed for a number of weeks while that section of the walkway is repaired.  The heavy trucks that ran in and out did quite a bit of damage and the walkway to the pier has to match the look of the concrete on the pier.

Light standards are being installed and are already powered up

While the snafus on getting the pier built is a story yet to be told – the news today is that what we are paying a King’s ransom for, is going to look very nice and it will do us all very proud.  There is some tinkering to be done; no one is sure quite yet just how the lights on the beacon will glow but if the ones being installed now don’t work – new ones will get put in their place.

It doesn’t look quite complete without a turbine at the top of that beacon – one of those missed opportunities.  The brown coloured rails will be done in what is known as Burlington blue.

It will take the city as much as a year to get used to the thing and in time they will come to love it and forget about the outrageous cost.  There might be some reckoning come election time but the only people who any blame can be attached to are the Mayor and Councillors Taylor, Dennison and Craven – they were there for most of the messy stuff.

For the moment – revel in what we are going to be using in the very near future.

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1 comment to A collected sigh of relief was heard when the communications and events people talked about how the pier opening would be handled.

  • Mike

    As if the absurd cost overruns on this relatively simple project aren’t enough, we have to suffer the indignity of peeling out an additional $10,000 for someone to tell us sweetly what went so horribly wrong. This should evoke a virtual taxpayer revolt.