May 13, 2022
Nelson, BC - The City has been working to create opportunities to improve the current City pier, located at the foot of Hall Street and the waterfront. It was identified several years ago that the pier was reaching end-of-life and, at a minimum, needed to be re-decked.
As part of the City's COVID-19 recovery initiative, Mayor and Council directed staff to apply for grants to assist with the high financial cost of renewing this historical amenity. This pier improvement represents the last phase of the Stores-to-Shores project, finalizing the upgrades along the Hall Street corridor from IODE Park to the waterfront. The pier's existing creosote-treated piles will be removed and replaced with new steel piles as part of this improvement.
“Council is very excited to see this project move forward,” says Mayor Dooley.
When this project was identified, it coincided with the Touchstones Museum's search for a permanent home for the historic Ladybird wooden speedboat. Working with a consultant team led by Matthew Stanley, a conceptual plan was developed to meet the above goals and reimagine the pier as a new multiuser community amenity space. The Pier project will provide construction opportunities, enhance tourism, provide an updated amenities area and create a new recreational space for the community.
With delays in permitting and rising costs, the City has worked closely with our construction management and consulting team to finalize a project that will become a well-utilized community cultural, recreational and event space.
The finalized design will include the following:
Since the estimated cost was beyond the budget set by City Council, a value engineering exercise was undertaken to find cost savings. This exercise to reduce the quantity of timber and steel led the design team to develop a new vision for the project. The revised solution achieved cost savings and provided a new opportunity to shorten the pier and add a swimming amenity area.
On April 19, 2022, City Council approved a project budget of approximately $3.5m. The City's contribution to this project is $2m from reserves, plus a Columbia Basin Trust grant of $500k and a Federal Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program grant of $1,000,000.
The project will begin in mid-May, with contractors mobilizing to the site and establishing the worksite area.
Demolition of the gazebo, decking and removal of the existing docks is scheduled to begin in early June, with the demolition of the pier and removal of piles: in mid-June 2022.
The City will provide updates and history as the project progresses at nelson.ca.
A bit of history…
Historically the pier was known as the City Wharf; however, there have been various names throughout the years, including Government Wharf, Public Wharf and the CPR Wharf.
The initial pier was constructed in 1892 for $4,000, where horse and steam engines drove the piles of cedar, hemlock, fir and tamarack. This stop along the river was vital to our transportation link for the paddle wheelers that ran up and down the Kootenay. Although a renovation was completed in 1910, it was demolished and reconstructed in April 1947 and again in the summer of 1986, which has brought us to another recreation milestone in 2022.
Historical Photo of Nelson Pier – Early 1900s
Special thanks to Jean-Philippe Stienne, MA, Archivist and Collections Manager & the © Nelson and District Museum, Archives, Art Gallery and Historical Society, Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, © Touchstones Nelson: Museum of Art and History.
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Colin Innes, Director of Public Works - email@example.com