McNally’s to start removing old pilings on Tuesday

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
Published on April 1, 2013

McNally Construction is ready to start hauling out pilings from the wharf’s former middle ell tomorrow Tuesday, April 2.

Their tug the Sandra Mary came through the Digby Gut on Good Friday, March 29 about 3 p.m. towing the derrick snow Canadian Argosy, loaded with a crane and the work tug Whitby.

Jeff Sunderland, port manager in Digby, had expected McNally’s in early February but the weather didn’t cooperate.

“Because of the slow speed they travel, they need a much bigger weather window than other vessels,” he said.

The tug was only making about 5 knots for most of the trip.

They had to bring some gear down from the Port Hawkesbury area and then spent the first two weeks of March trying to get out of Halifax harbour.

On the afternoon of Thursday March 14, the Sandra Mary left Halifax and pulled into Liverpool on the afternoon of March 15.

By March 25 they had made it to Yarmouth and four days later on Friday, March 29 they came up St. Mary’s Bay, through Petit Passage and into Digby Gut.

McNally workers erected the crane Monday, April 1 and began rigging up.

Sunderland said that day he expects McNally’s will begin removing the old pilings from the wharf’s old middle ell on Tuesday, March 2.

After that comes dredging and driving the new pilings and installing the gangway and floating docks.

McNally will remove approximately 4,000 cubic metres of soil and debris from the site. Then a special vibrating attachment will be added to the crane to drive the pilings. The last few metres of each piling may require the diesel hammer to drive them in.

McNally is considering two options for dealing with the old pilings from the middle ell. Because they will have a bigger crane on a more stable base than Dexter was able to use on the middle ell, they may be able to pull them right out, or they may dig around them and cut them off.

The sediment and debris from the harbour bottom will be hauled to a specially aprroved site at the Digby Salvage and Disposal dump on the Upper Cross Road.

Sunderland doesn’t foresee the work interfering with boat traffic in the harbour.

“McNally installed the float system for us last time, so they’re familiar with the port and how busy it is,” says Sunderland. “They were good to work with last time and I don’t expect that to be any different this time.”

In January Sunderland said the project completion date was March 31 but he says they are now shooting for the second week of May.

He said there is no time penalty in the contract.

“When you’re talking weather delays, you’re into worker health and safety issues, “ he said. “When you’re moving marine equipment around, you can expect some weather delays. Now that the gear is here we don’t expect too many weather delays.”

McNally’s won the tender for the project with a bid of $614,000.