Actual construction of the pier will get underway this week as girders are bolted together and lifted into place.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  August 20, 2012  Just over a year ago, the city agreed to requests to delay the due date for the re-tendering of the construction of the Pier at the foot of Brant Street.

The contract was awarded to Graham Infrastructure, a Calgary based company that partnered with an Ontario firm to take on the task of building a pier that had been plagued with problems almost from the day the idea was conceived.

The flat bed truck arrived just after noon last Friday

Between now and then the job was to remove the steel that had been installed a few years ago. There has been some fixing up here and there on the pier but no real construction work because the steel needed was not available and when the steel needed was available it had to go through levels of testing that were far beyond the norm for this type of bridge construction work.

But – the steel did arrive and the fabricators did overcome the concerns the quality control and quality assurance people had and the city now has ten girders on site with five more due on Monday which means actual construction can begin.

The crane that will lift the girders and lower them into place is on site. Some wonder if it came with a guarantee that it wouldn’t topple over.

The crane that will lift girders in place where they can be bolted together  is on site and will begin swinging them  into place on Monday.

The construction work gets done in segments with steel going into place, then form work being done for the concrete pour and then the actual pouring of the concrete.

On site almost daily is Burlington’s Jimmy Tapp checking on the progress. Here he talks with Pier Project Manager Craig Stevens.

After that it is a case of the construction people doing their best and hoping that the weather will cooperate.

Once poured, concrete needs 28 days to cure properly with all kinds of testing along the way.

Some of that concrete pouring is due to be done late in October and into November when weather will be the critical factor.

Last year the construction people will tell you – we didn’t even have a winter,   Will the same weather conditions prevail this winter  There are a lot of people hoping so, but the construction people aren’t betting on it.

The two guys that are going to see this project through are Craig Stevens, Pier Project Manager for the city and Eric Carriere who works with Graham Infrastructure.

What everyone now knows is that the pier is under construction and with a bit of a break from the weather we will see it opened in 2013.  The Festivals and Events people at city hall might have already started planning the party – maybe it will be a civic holiday.

Stevens, who did project management work on the Performing Arts Centre says “the weather was so good, the winter we worked on that project, that we were able to go right through and not shut down for the winter.”

That building was protected quite a bit because it was tucked in behind another building whereas the pier is exposed to the wind coming off the lake.

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