Is the public going to have to wait until the 15th of June to get out on the pier they are paying for?



By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON. ON.  May 14, 2013.  What do you make of this?

In a media release put out by the city, Mayor Rick Goldring said “The Brant Street Pier is nearly completed, and will be a waterfront icon at the foot of Brant Street for families to enjoy for generations to come.”  He then added:  “There is still some outstanding business regarding legal action related to the pier. The city will be as open as possible in sharing that information.”

View from the pier looking east. That patch of land between the two building is where the Riviera Motel used to stand. It is the site where an 8 storey Delta Hotel will be built, plus a seven story condominium and a 22 storey condominium. Small site for that many buildings.  The railing shown in the picture are just place holders.

Are those two sentences related?  Is the opening of the pier to the public being held up in any way by the “legal” problems?

At a recent council committee meeting Councillor Jack Dennison wanted city hall staff  types to let the public out on the pier just as soon as possible and didn’t want the public kept off the pier until the “dignitaries” got to do their thing and have their pictures taken.

Diver in the water taking out the caissons that were embedded in the lake bottom to keep the construction trestle in place. The trestle will be out by the end of the week.

The project team thought the pier could be ready for the public as early as June 3 – that date seems to be slipping. The FINAL Project Update made mention of granting the contractor “Substantial Performance which meant the pier would be transferred from the contractor to the city and the city could then decide when it was ready to let the public out onto the pier.

There are people out on the pier now – late at night “punks” go out onto the pier with their beer and make fools of themselves.  The city will want to create some form of security for the site.  There will be barriers that prevent cars from going out but they don’t appear to be wide enough to keep bicycles and motorcycles off the site.

It will probably take six months before the city realizes that a security camera is going to be necessary.

Actual construction has been proceeding very well.  The rails that will keep people from falling over the edge have yet to get put in place but that is in hand.  Most of the balustrades that will hold the rails are in place.   The team that is going to install the steel wire rope are in town – they were brought in from Vancouver.  The rails are getting galvanized and painted – then they can go up.

These three “amigos” kept the construction of the pier on time and resolved each of the many problems that cropped up.  The stairs on the left lead to the node.  Craig Stevens, Project Manager for the city on the left and Brad Cassidy the on-site manager for the construction company on the right.  Eric Carriere stands in the middle; we never quite knew what Eric did – he was just always there.

The concrete for the stairs that lead to the node will get poured this week.

Weather is hampering things a bit but there hasn’t been anything that was unmanageable on the construction side.  The problems are all on the legal side.

A number of weeks ago City Manager Jeff Fielding announced that he was hiring a specialized communications team to help with managing the flow of information to the public on some legal matters.  We’ve known this was coming for some time.

While the city has been telling the public that construction of the pier has been on time and on budget – which for the most part has been true, they haven’t been saying very much about the legal problems that have dogged the city since the original contractor walked off the job and lawsuits started being served on anyone who had a finger in that pie.

This story is far from over.  There are all kinds of things going on with the several law suits – the city would rather you didn’t know about those – they want to dazzle you with fireworks and tell you all about the wonderful view – and it is a great view.  Just not worth the $14 million + number the city uses when they talk about costs.  Think in terms of closer to $20 million.

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