Wharf work piling up

Breakwater contract awarded

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier jriley@digbycourier.ca
Published on March 1, 2013

The various pieces for the wharf’s new floating docks are slowly showing up in Digby.

Fundy Contractors from St. George NB dropped off six steel pilings on the Digby wharf Tuesday, Feb. 26.

Those 33.5 m long pilings will make up the anchors for the next set of floating docks.

McNally Construction won the tender for that three-stage project.

The Digby Harbour Port Association will pay them $614,000 to dredge out the spot where the middle ell used to be, drive the pilings and install the metal gangway and floats.

McNally will also remove the old metal pilings that used to be at the end of the middle ell. They are filled with concrete and were too heavy for Dexters to remove because of weight restrictions.

McNally will use a large crane and two large scows and a small harbour tug to remove approximately 4,000 cubic metres of soil and debris from the site.

They will try to remove the remains of as many old wooden wharf pilings as possible but plan B is to cut them off even with or below the harbour floor.

McNally will use a special vibrating attachment on the crane to drive the pilings. The last few metres of each piling may require a diesel hammer to drive them in.

Fundy Contractors supplied the pilings for the wharf’s other two sets of floating docks. But last time they delivered the pilings in two pieces. After sitting on the Digby wharf for a couple months they were shipped to Halifax and welded together.

This time the pilings came over on the ferry from New Brunswick already welded together.

The upper half, the half that will be sticking up out of the mud, is covered in a protective coat of green epoxy.

Larches delivered two of the five floats to the wharf before Christmas. The other three floats and the gangway are finished and ready to go.

McNally Construction is currently transporting their dredging and pile driving equipment from Halifax.

Digby port manager Jeff Sunderland said on Thursday, Feb. 28 that McNally had already shipped one part of their equipment as far as Yarmouth and were headed back to Halifax to get the rest.

He expects all the equipment to be in Digby by the end of the week, around Friday, March 8.

McNally’s already has a large excavator parked in the wharf parking lot behind the port association office. Sunderland says that excavator, with a bucket attachment, will load the muck from the scows into trucks.

The trucks will haul that muck and debris to the Digby Salvage and Disposal site on the Middle Cross Road. Machines have been preparing the site by building a 3 m berm around an area 200’ x 125’.

The Digby Harbour Port Association has also awarded the contract for the new breakwater but we shouldn’t see a great deal of action on that project until the roads reopen in April.

Western Specialty Contractors of Manitoba won the contract with a bid of $3,948,810.

There were eight bidders and Western’s was the lowest.

They will be getting the rock for the brekwater from the Mariner Aggregates quarry on top of Mount Pleasant. The breakwater will require 175,000 tonnes of rock or approximately 7,000 to 8,000 truckloads, depending of course on the truck and the load.

Sunderland says the storm damage from the blizzard on Saturday, Feb. 16 wasn’t “significant”.

He says the wharf wasn’t damaged structurally but heavy wave action removed blocking from the top of the wharf. Sunderland says the wharf is useable – the ladders are all attached as are the ladder tops.

Larches is carrying out the repairs and Sunderland says the association is expecting the repairs to cost less than $10,000.