Just when does the public get to walk out onto the pier they have waited so long for and paid so much to see completed?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  May 8, 2013  If the city grants Graham Infrastructure “Substantial Performance” people will be able to walk out onto the pier – just like that.

Graham is the company that built the pier – actually they tore down the first version of the pier and then started all over again – but that’s another story. Everyone now wants to move on and hold the opening ceremonies with balloons and fireworks and speeches and pretend that all the problems were not our problems.  We will all become Jamaicans for a few hours and tell ourselves there are “No problems”

This “substantial performance is one of two conditions that have to be met before the pier can be opened to the public.

During debate at a council committee when city staff was giving council their FINAL pier update Councillor Dennison wanted to know just when the public was going to walk out on that concrete deck.  Staff had said that the Burlington Teen Tour Band would be the first “public” to use the pier which they thought was fitting and would certainly gladden the hearts of many in this city.

There was almost a cheer when city staff advised council they were making their FINAL project update on the Brant Street Pier.

Dennison poked away a bit and referred to the FINAL Pier Update and noted that once the city has granted Substantial Performance the pier can be used.

Substantial Performance means that in the eyes of the city the work on the pier is complete and the contractor turns it over to the city.  During construction the pier is in the hands of the contractor.

With “substantial performance” the contractor gets a significant payment – so you know they want to see this done.  Liability for the pier becomes the city’s problem and a deficiency list gets drawn up.

Every project has a deficiency list – some take years t get done.  They are usually always very small and it is the city that keeps after the contractor to ensure they are fixed.

All this leads up to – when will the pier be open to the public?  We know it will be open on the 14th – every dignitary in the Region will be out there.  It will be fun to watch former Mayor’s Cam Jackson and Rob McIsaac share the platform – not much love lost between those two.

McIsaac struggled to get the pier built and when the crane topped during construction Jackson wanted to blow the whole thing up.  The current administration moved heaven and earth to find a contractor to complete the job and sent millions more than anyone expected to see the job done.

The “mistake on the lake” will finally shed its lousy public image.

There are two big public events: June 14th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm which will be the plaque unveiling, recognition of the dignitaries and thanking them for giving us back our own money to build the pier.  This is when the Burlington Teen Tour Band will march smartly out to the end of the pier and then in a grand fashion march from the end forward to the front where the public will have gathered.

After all the speeches and the photo opportunities everyone retires to the Sound of Music VIP tent for a reception.

The beacon atop the node – cross braces have yet to go in and all the LED lights have yet to be put in place. Looks kind of nice as it is.

The day after – Saturday June 15th is the Community Opening.  This event will run from noon to 3:00 pm during which there will be “animation activities” for the public.  Details are still be worked out by two different city departments.  The “big shot” event is being handled by the city’s communications department and the Community Opening is being run by the city’s Special Events people.

They put on the Children’s Festival – a two-day event that is hugely popular and know how to make something work.  It will be interesting to see how well they do – and interesting as well to see how the two different departments do their jobs.

Looks cold and lonely out there? In a couple of weeks the railings will be in place and the public will strut out to the end of the pier and marvel at it all – and the cost as well.

But the really interesting thing is: WHEN WILL THE PUBLIC BE ABLE O WALK OUT ON THAT PIER?  Dennison isn’t on for waiting until the dignitaries are on hand.  If it safe and complete – then let the public out onto the thing is the view Dennison took at the last council committee meeting.

Will he be as insistent at Council later this month and will he have the support of his fellow council members?  Dennison could use a win on this one.  He got close to black- balled by his community over his plans to apply for a severance of his Lakeshore Road property and he took a shellacking over his view that Lakeshore Road should have separate bicycle lanes.

If he manages to get the public out on the pier during the first week of June – will all be forgiven?

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