Council Decision on East Pier

The East Pier was closed to traffic a while back because of damage by high water and an engineering study was done.  At around the same time, the Waterfront plan was completed which recommended upgrades to the Pier and to the Campground.  Four options were proposed for the Pier which included both repairs and upgrades, and public comments on these were solicited.  In (another) marathon Council session on Tuesday (October 15), Council decided what to do.  They had to balance costs of possibly around $4M against preserving an asset well into the future.  To help with the decision, the Parks and Recreation Advisory committee made a recommendation to “implement Option 4 – a combination of pedestrian and light vehicle use – with enhancement as deemed appropriate by Council”.

East Pier

A Refresher on Options

A full report on the options offered was provided here: East Pier and Campground Report. But in council’s discussion, only options 3 and 4 were mentioned.  Option 3 provided support for heavy traffic and unrestricted use on the west side of the pier but would cost $3.8M with the East side for pedestrians only.  Option 4 ($720K) provided light vehicle use on the west side (10m wide) and pedestrian only traffic on the east side.


Council debating East Pier
Council debating East Pier

Mayor John Henderson wanted to know what “light vehicles” would be.  Director Hustwick responded that this would be cars, light trucks such as small Fire Trucks and food trucks.  A Midway would not be allowed nor would cranes to lift-out boats.  Cranes for lift-out would also be limited on where they could go at the base of the pier – if at all – although that’s a separate concern.  Councillor Emily Chorley commented that public comments favoured allowing cars on the pier.  There was also discussion on the process but it was agreed that the first step would be preparation of engineering drawings by a consultant and funding for that would be in the 2020 budget.  

East Pier Motion

There was discussion about which items should be “optional” but Director Hustwick said that all items would be costed separately anyway.  In the end, a motion passed that included the following:

THAT Council instruct staff to procure engineering and other professional services to develop drawings, costs and tender documents for the following:

  1. East Pier structural repairs to enable a combination of pedestrian and light vehicle use (Option 4);
  2. Essential East Pier enhancements that include:
  • Seating/lookouts;
  • Pedestrian walkways;
  • Electrical upgrades and pedestrian lighting;
  • Accessibility enhancements (from the East Pier to Victoria Beach) (to be costed separately);
  • Perimeter railings;
  1. Optional East Pier enhancements (to be costed separately) that include:
  • Charter boat and deep water docking;
  • Food concession;
  • Pedestrian access to the lighthouse;

The motion also included direction on funding and that “the procured drawings/costings of the East Pier Repairs and Enhancements (corrected from earlier version) be presented to Council for approval by September 2020 prior to issuing RFPs/tendering”. So construction would start in 2021.


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manfred s
18 October 2019 11:22 am

why not have a 2 tier pier part way out. A pedestrian tire over top of a vehicular lower tier which stops at the end of the wide part. A simple loop consisting of 2 one way lanes with a semicircle loop at the end all flanked by angle parking along the outer edges, looking onto the water. A pedestrian (including mobility devices) only upper deck would extend all the way out to a raised viewing area near the lighthouse, offering picnic-style areas of grass and trees along with benches the entire length of the upper deck. Everyone’s druthers could be addressed to some degree. The better solutions give everyone something but where no one gets everything.
If our harbour is our jewel, the “setting” for the jewel is what makes it perfect.

Canuck Patriot
Reply to  manfred s
19 October 2019 8:27 am

What are you smoking Manfred? I trust you found the Town’s long lost money tree. I do give you credit for lots of imagination.

Wally Keeler
18 October 2019 10:54 am

I was under the assumption that this column was about the east pier, but it seems not. It seems to be about a street intersection instead. There is an appropriate place where Rob, Lois Frizzell, jimq, jimq, Rational, Keith Oliver, Durka, cornbread and durka can post their intersection wisdom and that is in the column, Multiple Street Projects Reviewed.

John Draper
Reply to  Wally Keeler
18 October 2019 11:00 am

Thanks Wally.

18 October 2019 8:52 am

If cars are going to be allowed on the new pier, perhaps a swing arm gate could be added with a $2.00 charge per car.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  cornbread
18 October 2019 10:41 am

If it is not to be a pedestrian preferred pier, $10 would be appropriate to pay for the excessive wear and tear on the pier that an unrelenting parade of cars would inflict, and cars should be restricted to the lower third of the pier, not out towards the end. The same for the food trucks; they can park at the foot of the pier, and pedestrians can carry their drink or burger out with them.

Wally Keeler
17 October 2019 10:43 am

Small fire trucks, food trucks, service vehicles, but NO CARS. I like to walk out there without having to dodge cars backing out or turning around. A continual flow of cars year after year wears out a pier ahead of its time. I am not interested in subsidizing the expense of providing access to cars. There is no need for cars on that pier. That pier is a venue for performance art, not a faux parking lot. It should be used for creative purposes.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
17 October 2019 11:59 am

I agree, Wally! We are already pumping too much CO2 into the atmosphere! People driving out onto the pier, idling their vehicles as they sit and watch the waves come in…..not a good idea, in my humble opinion.
Install lots of benches so we might walk out, sit and enjoy the view.

Reply to  Ken
18 October 2019 5:10 am

Some people don’t have the luxury or ability to walk along the pier, they need a ride to be able to appreciate the beautiful scenery. Don’t be so selfish

Reply to  Phyllis
18 October 2019 5:57 am

While understanding of that issue, some might say it is selfish to blight “beautiful scenery” with cars. By virtue of them being there the pier is less beautiful. Cars also make the pedestrian experience much worse.

Connie Mealing
Reply to  Phyllis
18 October 2019 9:20 am

I agree with you Phyllis. I cannot walk out on the pier. I used to enjoy sitting in my car while watching the waves. There is no need to idle your engine. Perhaps a sign requesting no idling.

Slim Jim
Reply to  Connie Mealing
18 October 2019 9:30 am

There are many places one would love to drive their car and sit and watch nature, doesn’t mean we should make it so. Fact is cars ruin it for everything else, nature, pedestrians, aesthetics, etc. I’d love to sit in my car at the top of Mount Everest, but I think that might take away from the view!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Phyllis
18 October 2019 9:32 am

Likewise, I have walking and balance issues, so I access the pier by manual trike or mobility device. But it gets me outside of the luxury capsule known as a car where I would be insulated from natural experiences; the thrust of wind, the mist of waves crashing, the heat of sun, etc. Without cars, revving engines, some of them blasting music, I can hear the natural surroundings. The pier does not need any more filthy exhaust pipes littering it’s surface and fresh clean air.

Keith Oliver
17 October 2019 10:41 am

Just a short comment on the nonsense and unessary provocation that can exist in these blogs. They form a direct insult if not a threat to the great work that John Draper is doing for all who participate and the Cobourg Community at large. The sequence beginning with Wally, then MCGA, Wally again, followed by Frenchy and Albert is a prime example. Address the issue, debate with others, but stay away from the smart talk and mud slinging. It undermines your cause and makes you less credible. I for one have come to read your comments with caution, if at all.

17 October 2019 8:54 am

Congratulations ! It’s a long time coming but a good decision for Cobourg. Sometimes, it’s worth taking the time to make such decisions , given the nature of getting public concerns and input! Now let’s get that engineering specs. done and out to tender!!!!

16 October 2019 4:22 pm

A reasonable first step. That said, the engineer examining the collapse of the marina perimeter walkway was VERY restrictive in where the weight of the boat lift crane and the lifted boats could be placed. It would appear that there is greater concern about the stability of the marina metal bulkheads. If found compromised the Town can expect a larger bill than $720K. To paraphrase the OLD SAILOR : another of the occasional million dollar events.

16 October 2019 2:43 pm

Ok so my question is…when is the damn thing going to be completed? Who dropped the ball in not being pro-active about this? All of this should have been figured out years ago while the pier was still operational, not after shutting it down.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Durka
16 October 2019 3:23 pm

Who dropped the ball…

Irrelevant to the discussion. What is the purpose of squandering energy to pin the perp who dropped the so-called ball? The need for a whipping boy? Suggest something positive and creative, Durka.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
16 October 2019 5:50 pm

In most healthy organizations there are post mortems when things don’t work out. Sometimes we can learn from past half-steps or mis-steps. In this case, the Town has had several years to begin building a reserve for this rebuild. If they saved nothing it was beyond imprudent and heading towards negligent. The pier was broken, unusable and unsafe; more than adequate information to justify saving for some form of fix. Last point, in what universe were you crowned the final arbiter of what is relevant, positive and creative? Best example of a gated mind.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  MCGA
16 October 2019 10:18 pm

Go ahead and have an expensive and time-consuming post mortem. It’s your right as a taxpayer to make demands like that. How much do you think it will cost to have this post- mortem? How long do you think the investigation will last? I presume you and Durka believe it will be worth it, so make a convincing case to all of us.

“… in what universe were you crowned the final arbiter of what is relevant, positive and creative?”

I reserve the rite, write and right to textpress myself as I see fit, whenever and wherever I want. Your pompous admonishment means nothing to me. PRZT!

Reply to  Wally Keeler
17 October 2019 7:44 am

Did you just call someone else pompous?

Reply to  Frenchy
17 October 2019 9:27 am

You leave Nuclear Wally alone now, hear!
Let’s wait for what creative things he can do with food colouring on the East Pier.

Reply to  Wally Keeler
17 October 2019 8:49 am

Does anyone who “Dropped the Ball” ever get fired in this town? Example: Who was the person who approved the original rink lights at the CCC that had to be replaced this year???

Reply to  cornbread
17 October 2019 11:23 am

Off the main topic but related to the decision making of the Town staff. I would like to know how the stop lights at the Elgin and Ontario intersection were approved and by whom. What a joke and unnecessary waste of time sitting, watching one direction of traffic move at a single time. Is it not possible to be mindful of both safety and traffic flow or must we choose. That intersection literally went from bad to worse – it was better when north/south traffic had to wait for countless minutes while there was literally no east/west traffic.

Lois Frizzell
Reply to  Rob
17 October 2019 2:34 pm

I agree with Rob. Those lights are the joke of the town. Ihave sat waiting while NO cars go north/south & all kinds of traffic going east/west.

Reply to  Rob
17 October 2019 3:42 pm

This was already discussed at length back a week ago. After much study, this set-up is the safest way to move traffic and pedestrians at this busy intersection. The large number of accidents at this corner will be a thing of the past.

Reply to  jimq
17 October 2019 3:51 pm

MULTIPLE STREET PROJECTS REVIEWED – was the location of the previous discussion re this intersection.

Reply to  Rob
17 October 2019 4:39 pm

The light configuration is the correct one. In addition to making the intersection safer, it also allows for people to exit and turn (going west bound) into the YMCA parking area in much safer manner then before due to traffic spacing. There is a significant amount of traffic in and out each day of adults and families.

Reply to  Rob
17 October 2019 5:09 pm

County road, County Decision!

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Rob
18 October 2019 5:33 am

If something doesn’t work it’s best to focus on a solution rather than try to lay the blame. The Ontario -Elgin intersection modification is the work of consultants, approved by Council and like many designs concerning the behaviour of humans can never be fully evaluated until it’s in place and operational. I agree it is now a failed intersection.
Question is why does the more heavily trafficked intersection of Division and Elgin work so well and Ontario and Elgin work so poorly? My advice is to let the Mayor know and use this comparison.

Reply to  Keith Oliver
18 October 2019 5:45 am

The difference is there are no left hand turn lanes at Elgin and Ontario whereas there are at Elgin and Division. Before the changes cars would be lined up waiting for people to make a left hand turn as traffic from the other direction stopped them from doing so. That said, the old way worked far better. Now, instead of sometimes getting caught behind someone making a left, everyone is stuck waiting for the multiple cycles.

Reply to  Keith Oliver
18 October 2019 7:45 am

No left turn lanes with advance arrow at Elgin & Ontario…you would need a wider intersection…is there enough are a to do this??

Reply to  cornbread
18 October 2019 8:13 am

Likely not, or exorbitantly expensive, as the intersection is built over the Creek and is largely a bridge.