The extension project of the cruise ship pier at Ogden Point has hit a rough patch after two integral pieces of infrastructure were lost at sea.
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) reported Thursday that a large diameter pile shipment for the new mooring dolphin extension fell from a cargo ship about 250 nautical miles from Vancouver.
The cargo ship was 29 days into its 30-day voyage to Victoria when the materials fell. The loss will add an additional $3-$4 million to the $6.8 million-dollar project.
GVHA CEO Ian Robertson told Victoria News he doesn’t have full details on how exactly the materials, being shipped in from China, were lost.
“It sounds like the load wasn’t secured adequately and the ship ran into rough seas,” he said. “It was critical. It was the key piece of infrastructure.”
Robertson said the cost of recovering the pilings from the ocean floor is too high.
The Pier B Mooring Extension Project is set to be installed at the cruise terminal to accommodate larger ships like Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas – a more than 300-metre-long cruise ship with 16 decks, five restaurants and ten bars. It’s first scheduled call is May 12, 2019 – after which it will dock once a week throughout the cruise ship season.
Robertson said GVHA is working on a back up plan that will re-engineer materials it already had.
The piling lost was a ‘mono-pile’ – two 200-foot-long pipes with 10-foot diameters, weighing about 400,00 lbs. each.
“Fortunately we had another design that we had worked on about a year ago that uses ‘multi-piles,’” Robertson explained. “That’s about 16 to 18 different piles that will now go into the ocean.”
Robertson isn’t sure that the multi-piles back-up plan will be in place by May 12 but said GVHA is running simulations to see if the Ovation of the Seas can be accommodated at a different pier.
“Its a long ship and we need to be able to be sure that she can safely come in,” he said.
“The frustrating part is we were so close – 29 days into a 30 day journey and this happens. It’s frustrating but right now the focus is getting that back up plan executed.”