The City of Victoria is planning on replacing the Dallas Road balustrades this year.
The concrete, sea-foam green barrier running atop the picturesque seawall has been in place for nearly a century, with the most recent structural updates occurring approximately 70 years ago. Most portions of the balustrade show wear and tear from wind and ocean spray, with significant levels of rust.
“The balustrade is currently beyond the end of its useful service life, and requires significant repairs, replacement of sections, or full replacement,” a staff report reads. “The concrete is delaminating and spalling and the steel reinforcement is actively corroding along the structure.”
Originally the City had planned to replace the balustrade in 2020 with the final updates of the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) construction linked to the Wastewater Treatment Project. These updates include a new bike path, a sidewalk, curb and parking between Dock and Lewis streets. The CRD will be wrapping up its Dallas Road construction earlier than anticipated, prompting city staff to recommend that balustrade changes also come sooner.
This accelerated timeline might ordinarily pose a challenge, but city staff recommend using barrier designs already in place at other locations, including along the Ogden Point Breakwater walkway and the Johnson Street Bridge.
“Staff recommend a full replacement of the balustrade with a new steel stanchion and wire cable design to reduce maintenance and replacement costs, while improving public realm aesthetics,” the report reads.
Staff continue to say that this option would minimize cost and construction time compared to other options of retaining the current wall with repairs, or replacing the balustrade with a replica design.
City staff are requesting $150,000 in funding from the Buildings and Infrastructure Reserve for planning and design work, and will ask for more funding for construction once designs are complete. Early estimates peg the entire replacement project to cost over $1 million.
Costs could rise depending on hazmat and archaeological assessments which are now ongoing along the balustrade, since the concrete is likely coated with lead paint.
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