Following the loss at sea of an integral piece of the cruise ship dock expansion, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has just announced that the project is back on track and, though delayed, will come in close to budget.
After the loss of the large-diameter pile shipment for the Pier B mooring dolphin extension in early December 2018, the GVHA planned to move forward with a modified design using smaller diameter piles with steel sourced from the North American market.
That plan had to be changed after no pre-cast steel that met the necessary standards was available from a North American supplier.
After testing to make sure the largest incoming cruise ship for 2019, Ovation of the Seas, could safety dock at the existing Pier A South, the GVHA decided to revert to the original plan, reordering the original large-diameter pile structure and pushing back completion date to the start of the 2020 cruise season.
The $7 million infrastructure improvements at Ogden Point are to allow larger cruise ships to tie up in Victoria waters. It will expand South B Pier more than 55 metres beyond what is already present.
The federal government is pitching in nearly $2 million, while the GVHA will contribute $4,926,132, making up the $6.8 million total.
“The changes to our plans do not impact the funding support from the Government of Canada. In addition, GVHA is now able to remain close to our original capital project budget of $6.8 million,” said Ian Robertson, GVHA CEO.
The GVHA funding comes from passenger fees, not taxpayer dollars, and that the investment will quickly be recouped, according to Lindsay Gaunt, director of cruise ship development at the GVHA.
The Ovation of the Seas, the largest cruise ship to come to Victoria, is expected to arrive on May 12.
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