Archive for February 13th, 2010

An island needs a wharf

By Tom Read

Two adjacent signs warn the public to stay off the wharf during repairs. Why two signs? Maybe this has something to do with lawyers and consultants. At least we're finally seeing our only public wharf get some well-deserved repairs.

A few days ago, men with hardhats and heavy construction equipment began repairing Texada’s only public wharf, located at Van Anda Cove. It has taken several years to reach this moment, so I’m glad that it’s finally happening. The cost of labour and materials kept going up year after year while commencement of work was delayed and the wharf continued to deteriorate, so some of us wondered if it would ever be saved.

In fact, we’re losing vehicle access out to the end of the wharf; henceforth, it will only accommodate foot traffic. But that’s all we can afford today, if wharf repairs are to meet the liability-proof standard set forth by an engineering consultant hired by the Powell River Regional District. Consulting invoices, over the years, ate up a mid-five-figures chunk of the “marine services” budget, an unfortunate fact of life. At least we still have a public space where Texadans and visitors can get out on the water, as people of all ages have done for more than a century at Van Anda Cove.

Yes, an island community just ought to have a structurally sound public wharf, and that’s exactly what I expect we’ll get when the current work is done. Then all we’ll have to do is maintain it, which should be easy by comparison to this painful, multi-year wharf rescue project.

Post facto

February 2010
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