East Pier closed for Vehicles and Events

It seems that the high water levels last year caused damage to the East Pier but confirmation will require a “condition assessment” conducted by an Engineer.  The result of that will be a report “indicating what repairs, if any, are required and an estimate of their associated costs.”  The inspection is expected to be done in the Spring but meanwhile, in the interest of safety, the Town has closed the pier to “community events and vehicular access until further notice”.  Pedestrians will still be permitted but not vehicles. Further, Deputy Director of Public Works Laurie Wills asks that “all planning of community events moving forward go under the assumption that the East Pier will not be available.”  That includes the Waterfront Festival Midway.

The concern arose from the need for the Town to create an Asset Management Plan which:

…. will include all assets/facilities to improve their management and maintenance and to enhance long-term capital planning. As part of the Asset Management Plan condition assessments of assets/facilities are being conducted. The East Pier was selected as one of the assets in need for a condition assessment due to:

  • Age
  • Regular appearance of voids in the asphalt surface that require various repairs
  • Extremely high water level of Lake Ontario in 2017 caused damage to other shoreline structures
Midway on Cobourg Pier - July 1, 2005
Midway on Cobourg Pier – July 1, 2005

Further, Laurie said:

The East Pier has not been structurally assessed since 2011 and is showing signs of fatigue through the appearance of voids in the asphalt surface. These voids are indicative of water infiltrating the underside of the pier and removing the supporting fill material. Without conducting an engineering inspection we cannot confirm that the pier is capable of supporting vehicles and our first priority is safety.

Simultaneously, the Town is requesting quotes on the water playground as reported here. Perhaps the implementation of this will have to wait until the Pier is in good shape.

Whatever comes out of the inspection, closing the Pier for the July 1st Midway will cause problems – where else can it go?  Perhaps the whole process can be completed in time although the Town seems to want no-one to plan for events on the pier.

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Wally Keeler
26 February 2018 6:34 pm
22 February 2018 5:04 pm

So, how will closing the pier impact boat launches this spring?
Very heavy equipment is used to launch those boats, so if the pier is unsafe……

Miriam Mutton
Reply to  Eastender
22 February 2018 8:18 pm

The boats used to placed in the water along the north harbour wall and along the east side in front of the trailer park. These locations may be less exposed to windy conditions. Good point, though … needs some planning before the launch date.

Reply to  Eastender
22 February 2018 10:20 pm

One way or the other, the Town of Cobourg Marina (not the yacht club) is going to get that travel lift. They (even though I’m not entirely sure who “they” are) will invent a crisis that can only be solved with “their” travel lift. I predict it will be in place for the 2018 haul-out.

Reply to  Frenchy
25 February 2018 11:29 am

No doubt about it. The small, few advocates (incl. staff) will get their way. We’ll end up with a monstrous piece of metal and its huge concrete supporting structure dominating the beach-scape.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  gerinator
25 February 2018 12:41 pm

The beach-scape of Cobourg waterfront includes all of Victoria Park Beach, all of West beach, and all of the inner harbor beach. The boat lift certainly won’t be dominating two of those beaches. Will it be so dominant that it will prevent access to the water to dragon boaters, canoes, kayaks and other manual floating devices? Nope.

Why not negotiate a deal? Move the parking space for yachts north 100 or 200 yards and free up the space for harbor and west beach viewing, and opening up more inner harbor beach front in return for a boat lift that will dominate the inner harbor beach less than currently imagined.

Miriam Mutton
Reply to  Wally Keeler
25 February 2018 5:13 pm

Among issues raised by others, the proposed location of the lift would ruin the premium, year round, iconic open water view from land across the inner harbour towards the lighthouse and harbour mouth. I hope major view lines are considered an important part of the waterfront study. (How to put an economic value on a view shared around the world on social media?)

And, the main public right of way could shift to south of the current grassy overflow parking area. This would require careful planning to avoid conflict with the operation of the existing boat launch and related uses.

IMO, the biggest challenges to plans to increase marina related infrastructure is the fact the small craft marina (a vital piece) is located in one of Cobourg’s most important and heavily used public parks. And, as a result the marina must be restricted in size and service. Further, parking lots and storage in premium, downtown, waters edge parkland should be minimized. It is the size and restrictions to public access of the land base support for the proposed lift that remains unclear.

Bill Thompson
Reply to  Wally Keeler
3 March 2018 9:03 pm

Not to forget the groyne for the boat lift that has to be installed in the west harbour,plus the actual lift (eyesore itself ) in storage except for a few DAYS out of the year at what cost to whom ? Unknown to date.
Another step in the attempt to convert the west harbour area into a marina boatyard.
The extreme total cost of it (1/2 million + and who is paying for it should be a major concern not to also mention the re appearance of marina expansion proposal mysteriously in the new Waterfront Development Plan by whom?
The consultants couldn’t answer that question at the meetings.

Wally Keeler
21 February 2018 8:49 am

Well, without motor vehicles, the pier presents a huge canvas of pavement for a sidewalk chalk artist display/contest. From sand sculpting to chalking.

Now is an opportunity to put a few planters out there plus some benches, measure the community response.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
22 February 2018 11:19 am

the time is right to move forward with the idea I presented – grass, boardwalk, benches, swing, shade trees, outdoor exercise equipment, maybe a tower viewer or two…..no more midway and no more cars.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ewok
22 February 2018 12:49 pm

Inexpensive programmable leds could put on a lightshow every evening. https://youtu.be/_AMXg0jjs90

Reply to  Wally Keeler
22 February 2018 1:44 pm

Wally – I think we should start a consulting company 🙂

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ewok
22 February 2018 2:32 pm

We’ll contact the business community for sponsorship, as Poet Hope does with Cameco, fresh target would be the pot producers to sponsor the Potency Pier events. Gee, look at the excitement the pier has on peoplekind; https://youtu.be/MPiFnPPY-fU

20 February 2018 1:10 pm

Oops I meant the EAST pier

20 February 2018 1:02 pm

It would be so nice to have the whole west pier including the derelict part out to the lighthouse repaired. It would be a wonderful place to stroll and enjoy .
It has been potential that has been overlooked far too long.
Why not stop wasting money on consultants and just fix the pier.

20 February 2018 8:50 am

Its funny Council would over look or Leave out such a large expenditure
Its been in a failing state for years and the Towns Professionals have been studying it
for at least 3 yrs now .

And the Flood waters are Rising again incase the Town and its Engineering Dept. haven’t Noticed The storm drains on Third st are full ..

Reply to  perplexed
20 February 2018 9:40 am

There will be flooding in just about every municipality in Ontario. There’s only so much they can do, especially they age of the downtown.

Not sure if the Midtown pond will help with the situation but it’s being built this summer.

Reply to  Delk
20 February 2018 4:22 pm

If the midtown pond solves the problem of runoff in the Nickerson woods area and the coincident flooding of Elgin and Division I have some swampland for you to buy!!

19 February 2018 1:11 pm

Considering this item was a priority in the Harbour master plan and left uncosted Council has a major decision to make about how much remedial work needs to be taken and to what standard. There is a considerable difference in remediating to pedestrian standards as opposed to rebuilding for heavy vehicle use.

I would suggest this item should be revisited with the public and discuss just how much money should be spent on it. Personally I would support spending whatever it needs for a total rebuild and then decide what structures, if any, should be put on it. Unfortunately that would mean all of the Marina expansion money would go into one project!

Reply to  ben
19 February 2018 7:27 pm

I wonder if the ‘feds’ or Province would be obligated to put in money for ‘structural’ repairs?

19 February 2018 12:47 pm

This is perhaps a blessing in disguise. A chance to make this pier a terrific pedestrian arcade with cobblestone walks, planters and numerous benches. The pier is a gem waiting to be polished.

Reply to  Roscoe
19 February 2018 3:57 pm

To a certain extent but the process that is making it unstable for vehicles will eventually make it unstable for any use, and will have to be addressed.

Reply to  Roscoe
19 February 2018 4:09 pm

that was precisely my recommendation to the waterfront study. Closing the pier the vehicular traffic will be a real blessing. Traffic on the pier is dangerous for pedestrians now.

19 February 2018 11:08 am

Having the Mid way on the pier has always been an accident waiting to happen any way

Its time to put Donigan Park to good use or even the West Beach area for a change
It will at least lesson the amount of Garbage that ends up floating in the lake for that week .
Not all bad.

A fan
19 February 2018 10:21 am

Hopefully the pipers will still be able to pipe down the sun!

18 February 2018 5:41 pm

Regarding the midway am I correct in saying it wasn’t always located on the pier during the Waterfront Festival, years back?

Anyways perhaps this will be an opportunity to assess the pier as a whole, future use, etc. I will definitely be taking a stroll out there in the spring in the absence of vehicles. Looking forward to that actually.