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:
- 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
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.