Wharf work un­der­way

Road through Halls Har­bour to re­open soon as re­build­ing project con­tin­ues

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - BY KIRK STAR­RATT Kingscountynews.ca Halls Har­bour, ns kstar­ratt@kingscountynews.ca

The wharf is the lifeblood of Halls Har­bour as a fish­ing com­mu­nity and tourism des­ti­na­tion, and get­ting the fail­ing west side re­placed is of the ut­most im­por­tance.

Har­bour au­thor­ity pres­i­dent and op­er­a­tions man­ager Charles Sk­erry said the road go­ing through the har­bour should be re­opened to traf­fic by mid-may, although work on the wharf won’t be com­plete.

The har­bour au­thor­ity had many meet­ings with Small Craft Har­bours dur­ing the past sev­eral years fo­cused on re­plac­ing the west side of the wharf, he added. Com­mu­nity mem­bers had decked it in twice as holes started ap­pear­ing over the years.

“It was de­te­ri­o­rat­ing and col­laps­ing down into it­self, as wood will over the years,” Charles said.

Last July, Kings-hants MP Scott Bri­son an­nounced work to re­pair the fail­ing wharf would be funded as part of $47 mil­lion ear­marked by Fish­eries and Oceans Canada for small craft har­bour im­prove­ment projects in Nova Sco­tia.

Har­bour au­thor­ity sec­re­tary Sylvia Sk­erry said it seemed ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity was there for the an­nounce­ment.

“It was quite a cel­e­bra­tion be­cause this was a long time coming,” she said.

Charles said the work ne­ces­si­tated the clo­sure of High­way 359 through the har­bour so it was im­por­tant to get the project done in a year as op­posed to an ear­lier plan to com­plete it over two.

The con­struc­tion con­tract was awarded to D.J. Lowe. Work was sup­posed to start in Septem­ber 2016 but was de­layed un­til Jan­uary. Even though this pushed the com­ple­tion date back sig­nif­i­cantly, he said the work is get­ting done and the con­trac­tor is do­ing a good job.

“It’s a slow process,” Charles said. “You’re not go­ing to work on the bot­tom of the har­bour when the tide’s in.”

Sylvia said sec­tions of crib­bing were con­structed in­di­vid­u­ally on the closed por­tion of the road. These are be­ing set on the har­bour floor and filled with rocks to form the base of the wharf.

Af­ter the road is re­opened, some­time be­tween May 15 and 18, work on the wharf will con­tinue un­til late June to bring the board­walk over the new sec­tion of the wharf to a us­able state. Float­ing docks for re­cre­ational boats will be put back in place. The wharf work will halt dur­ing the peak tourist sea­son and then will be com­pleted in the fall.

The next ma­jor con­cern to ad­dress is the walkway con­nect­ing the east­ern wharf and board­walk sec­tion with the west­ern sec­tion. It’s cur­rently closed to pedes­tri­ans. Charles said that an en­gi­neer who ex­am­ined it re­cently de­ter­mined that the sup­port­ing struc­ture could last an­other two to five years.

The walkway, he added, will ei­ther be boarded in or re­placed com­pletely.

He be­lieves that it’s crit­i­cally im­por­tant that this work is done be­cause it isn’t safe to have peo­ple walk­ing on the road to get from one side of the har­bour to the other. How­ever, there is cur­rently no time­line in place or fund­ing iden­ti­fied for this project.

Kirk star­ratt

Work on re­build­ing the west side of the Hall’s Har­bour wharf con­tin­ued on May 8.

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