Price tag: Port McNeill council receives costs for dock replacement projects

Council received the report and will take the recommendations under advisement.

In September of 2018, Pelagic Technologies Ltd. completed a detailed inspection of the Port McNeill Municipal Marina and during that inspection, identified a number of issues and recommended specific repairs be undertaken.

At that time, the previous Port McNeill council did not go ahead with the recommended repairs and in December of 2019, the current council agreed to move forward with the development of engineering plans. Those plans would cover the four components that had been identified in 2018 as needing repairs and/or upgrades.

The town hired engineering consultant, McElhanney Ltd of Courtenay to conduct the assessment and at the Feb. 25 council meeting, Matthew Frederichs, of McElhanney, presented their report.

The firm’s assessment confirmed the need for repairs, identifying the major areas of concern and what the next steps should be. Those four areas needing attention were:

First on the list was the sinkhole at the timber trestle approach to the dock. There has been significant erosion of soil, resulting in undermining of the adjacent sidewalks.

Next on the list was the timber-covered hut (fish cleaning station) at the offshore end of the trestle. It appeared to have been constructed after the original trestle, with the additional weight being supported by cantilever beams. Those beams were felt to be insufficient and had resulted in a downward displacement that is currently overstressing the hut and platform.

The third item was the aluminium gangway, which had a number of issues relating to serviceability and operation including: The ramp, with a total length of 40’ creates “significant hazard for pedestrians, especially disabled and mobility limited people.” And the trestle and main float (P-Dock) are not aligned and show evidence of lag bolts being torn out.

The fourth and last recommendation concerned the Main float (P-Dock), which currently has severe loss of flotation and fungal decay.

The consultants presented several options to council that included temporary repairs, a blend of repairs and replacement and complete replacement.

Costs, as expected, would vary depending on what the town decided to do. However, engineers cautioned Councillors to also consider the impact of maintenance and upkeep costs, should they decide to apply temporary repairs.

If council were to go with repairing the sinkhole, trestle (not replacing) and replacing the dock, the estimated cost would be approximately, $186,000. Maintenance over the next 50 years is estimated (in today’s dollars) to be $175,000 with an additional $630,000 needed, beginning in year 20, to cover the cost of the eventual replacement of those parts. Total cost would be approximately, $991,000.

Replacing everything recommended in the engineering report would have an initial capital cost of, $370,000 with an ongoing 50-year maintenance expense of, $120,000 plus, in year 20, $113,000 to again replace P-Dock for a total cost of $603,000.

Council received the report and will take the recommendations under advisement. Should they decide to proceed with one of the options presented, construction or repairs would not begin until the busy summer boating season has ended.

– Bill McQuarrie article

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