The approved 2023 capital budget includes $810,000 for the replacement of the West Beach Boardwalk but before proceeding, the Town had an online survey asking citizens what option they wanted. It turns out, they don’t want an elevated boardwalk and they do want the walking surface to be wood – not concrete, asphalt or a composite material. The final preferred option was not one of the options originally suggested by staff – it would use “a composite substructure and a wood deck at the existing grade elevations”. The basic problem is that the substructure is in contact with sand – the existing substructure is wood and after 15 years has deteriorated – the composite material would have a longer life. But let’s look at the details.
At the Committee of the Whole (CoW) meeting on 26 June, Council will be asked to approve moving forward with this “hybrid” option.
In creating options, one of the concerns of staff was the possibility of high lake levels and to avoid the worst case, the boardwalk would have to be raised 2 feet for the west portion. But this would mean railings which could be wood or metal. To ensure a long life and low ongoing maintenance costs, staff proposed that the east portion would be concrete or asphalt. They also recommend that “the width of the replacement boardwalk will be 4m wide”.
- Wood boardwalk similar to existing for entire length
Lowest initial capital cost ($870,000), $4.2M lifecycle cost over 75 years
- Elevated Wood boardwalk with wood railings for west portion; Asphalt path for east portion
Second lowest initial capital cost ($1,010,000), $1.97M lifecycle cost over 75 years
- Elevated Wood boardwalk with wood railings for west portion; Concrete path for east portion
Middle initial capital cost ($1,155,000), $1.99M lifecycle cost over 75 years
- Elevated Composite with metal railings for west portion; Asphalt path for east portion
Second highest initial capital cost ($1,170,000), $1.95M lifecycle cost over 75 years
- Elevated Composite with metal railings for west portion; Concrete path for east portion
Highest initial capital cost ($1,215,000), $1.98M lifecycle cost over 75 years
But the survey indicated a strong preference for a wood surface and no elevation so staff are now recommending the hybrid option:
- A composite substructure and a wood deck at the existing grade elevations. [So it would look like the current boardwalk for the entire length – except wider, 4m vs 3m ].
Further, “Staff are proposing to have Public Works Roads Staff construct the boardwalk” – although there are some “conditions and expectations” – see the full staff report in Resources below. As a result, the cost is expected to be $750,000 which is well within the approved budget. Of this, $450,000 would be covered by a grant.
Addendum – Update 27 June, 2023
At the CoW on 26 June, Council approved going ahead with the 4 m wide boardwalk as proposed by Staff. There was some debate that maybe it could be 12 ft instead of 4m but the actual will depend on availability. The decision will need to be ratified at the next regular Council meeting.