Fernwood dock closed for repair work

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The crane barge HM Tacoma is anchored at Fernwood this week while a crew from Heavy Metal Marine finishes up infrastructure repairs.

A total project budget of $164,000 set by the Capital Regional District’s Salt Spring administration office includes a $132,000 construction budget to replace damaged timber decking, damaged kick boards, some timber piles and damaged rubber fenders.

The project will also see new paint for hand rails, the gangway and lamp standards, plus installation of bird spikes on lamp standards and new electrical equipment for some of the lamps.

Jennifer Shaw, proprietor of the nearby Fernwood Road Cafe, said she was surprised to see the popular amenity closed last week since she didn’t see much in the way of public notification, but added it’s good to know needed repairs are taking place.

“Any safety issues definitely need to be fixed,” Shaw said. “It’s just unfortunate it has to happen in the summer. We are seeing increased boating traffic to the dock and lots of people coming over here.”

Repairs were scheduled to take place from June 26 to July 5. The dock was temporarily re-opened for the Canada Day long weekend.

Tendering for the project took place in October 2017, with Fernwood Dock tied into a process for several projects identified under the Southern Gulf Islands Harbour Commission capital plan in order to realize administrative efficiencies and leverage scale of economies. The local Fernwood Dock Management Commission was dissolved  some years back with administration moved to CRD Integrated Water Services and more lately to the CRD’s Salt Spring management team.

According to a CRD staff report, four facilities including Fernwood Dock were inspected by consultants Moffatt & Nichol, wharfingers and CRD staff in May 2017 to confirm scope of works for each facility.

The SGI Harbour Commission passed a resolution in October 2017 awarding the combined tender for infrastructure improvements to Fernwood Dock and Montague Harbour on Galiano Island to Heavy Metal Marine for $150,226.55.

The company has been part of many coastal projects, including designing and building the boardwalk for the District of Sooke and constructing a new dock at the Institute of Ocean Sciences in Sidney.

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