Efforts to replace to Beacon Wharf in downtown Sidney, here seen during movie filming, will “be complicated” and “costly” according to a new report. (Black Press Media File)

Shortlisted options for Beacon Wharf replacement cost between $6.3 and $14.2 million

Select committee will investigate various questions around proposed replacement of iconic wharf

A new report says the replacement of Sidney’s Beacon Wharf will be complicated and costly, with other infrastructure costs looming on the horizon.

This prediction appears in a staff report Sidney council meeting as committee of the whole minus Coun. Chad Rintoul received earlier this week before asking staff to establish a select committee tasked with answering various questions around the wharf. It has stood at the end of Beacon Avenue for more than 50 years as an iconic part of the community, but is also approaching the end of its design life.

This potential list of questions facing the eventual committee members include the very question of whether Sidney should even replace the wharf in the face of rising sea levels and more intense storms. The wharf itself has undergone several repairs since Sidney had assumed control of it from the federal government in 2006, with more repairs pending this year to extend its lifetime.

A report by SNC-Lavalin — the company hired by Sidney to study the feasibility of rebuilding the wharf following completion of the municipality’s Downtown Waterfront Vision in 2018 — pegs the remaining design life of the current wharf at less than 10 years.

RELATED: Pending repairs to Sidney wharf could impact tourism, local business

That same report also presents council with seven replacement options (with one option featuring a sub-option) that ranged in costs from $6.3 million to $20.8 million, with the important proviso that the company ultimately short-listed four options ranging in costs from $6.3 million to $14.2 million.

Sidney had requested that the wharf structure have a design life of 50 years and be open to the public among other criteria. They require that the wharf reach up to Sidney’s existing flood construction level of 7.1 metres, 1.6 metres above the existing wharf height.

Jenn Clary, Sidney’s director of engineering, said these figures do not include the cost of any future buildings or amenities on the wharf. The public heard later from her that these figures also do not include any related costs for infrastructure around the wharf impacted by the replacement.

They include, among others, the roundabout at the end of Beacon Avenue, as well as Beacon Avenue Park and the walkway that runs along the waterfront. The central factor is the future height of the wharf, if replacement goes ahead.

“New infrastructure with a design life of 50 years will need to be higher than the existing waterfront,” the report reads. “How much higher will depend on the type of wharf and intended use.”

Three of the four shortlisted wharf replacement options would be 3.5 metres higher than the current wharf, with the fourth 2.5 metres than the current option, thereby impacting surrounding infrastructure. In other words, if Sidney were to go ahead with replacing the wharf, the municipality would have to take a much broader view.

Mayor Cliff-McNeil-Smith, who will chair the select committee following final approval by council, referenced this aspect in his comments.

“This is just one aspect of the total waterfront in Sidney,” he said.

Broadly speaking, SNC-Lavalin’s shortlisted options fall into broad categories: a suspended deck standing on piles and a deck on the top of reclaimed fill protected by rock. According to the report, the suspended deck option would be cheaper and less harmful on the environment during construction than the “rubble deck” option, but it is not as straightforward as it might appear.

Sidney’s Downtown Waterfront Vision lists several “functional requirements” for the future wharf. They include, among others, moorage for vessels and space for buildings. “The wharf shall accommodate a leased lot(s) on top of the deck for commercial buildings,” it reads.

But those requirements might not be achievable depending on the eventual option chosen. For example, a suspended deck might not be as suitable for buildings, the report reads.

Once in place, the select standing committee would exist until Dec. 31, 2020.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nominations for Victoria municipal byelection are in

Victoria will elect one councillor

City to lead discussion on John A. Macdonald Monday night

The fourth chapter of the city’s reconciliation dialogues was moved to a larger venue

Athletes gear up for Pan Am XC Cup at Bear Mountain Saturday

This is the first time Canada is hosting the championships

Extra precautions against COVID-19 put in place as tourism season arrives

Airports and border services follow federal cues to minimize spread of coronavirus

Court hears of moments before Victoria father stabbed to death in the middle of Hillside Avenue

Sentencing hearing for Daniel Creagh, charged with manslaughter, began Friday

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Stories of sexual assault at B.C. tree planting camps ‘shocking but not surprising:’ advocate

Contractors’ association is working with trainers to create respectful culture

Most Read