Saint Andrews receives funding on two projects

SAINT ANDREWS – The wharf and Market Square project in Saint Andrews got a significant boost recently thanks to the provincial government.

The town is receiving just over $1 million for restoration of the wharf and Market Square. That grant was part of a provincial announcement of $47 million for climate change action projects. The grant is part of a request the town had submitted previously.

“We’re looking for a bit more to finish the project,” said the town’s chief administrative officer, Chris Spear.

Wooden piling supports the wharf and Market Square in Saint Andrews, which suffered damage due to natural erosion as well as climate change-related sea level rise.

Spear said the original concept for the restoration, which was armour stone and crushed rock, has been updated to be concrete due to concerns about the look of the armour stone and the character of the wharf.

“There was concern about the appearance of the armour stone, and also the environmental impact so we’re going with concrete piles,” he said.

The project will incorporate mostly cosmetic wood pilings on the outside of the concrete to maintain the look of the structure. The wood pilings are termed sacrificial pilings as they act as a first defence against damage from boats, so the primary structure is protected.

Spear is hopeful funding for the project will be in place by June. Once the funding is assured, planning will begin on the design. It’s hoped construction will begin in the autumn. The first phase of the project will require demolition of the approach end of the wharf, meaning vehicle and pedestrian traffic will not be possible. Boats will still be able to tie up at the water end where they currently do and tender boats may be used to transport cargo from fishing vessels to the shore while construction is taking place.

In the initial part of the project, the wharf will be raised half a metre and in a future phase, will be raised another half metre to incorporate the planning for a total sea level rise of one metre over 100 years.

“It was going to have to be a multi-phase project,” said Spear. “It’s going to be a metre over 100 years.”

The next phase will involve the entire wharf some years into the future.

Asset management

Along with the provincial funding, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is providing a $50,000 grant to complete a roads and trails management inventory.

“The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has had grants offered for a few years now where they help municipalities do what’s called asset-management planning,” said Spear, adding the purpose is to create life-cycle plans for municipal infrastructure.

The town will use the grant to hire consultants to evaluate the condition of all the roads and trails in the town proper and develop a current condition report and priority list of what will need fixing when.

“They go through every street and assess them on a scale but also provide replacement costs or refurbishment costs,” said Spear.

It will include such things as whether a road only needs to be resurfaced or whether it needs to be dug down to the base and redone entirely. The master document will be used at budget time to plan for road work in the coming year and costs will be updated as needed for the then-current environment.

The project will not include the newly amalgamated wards because, under local governance reform, those roads remain under the auspices of the province.

“Those are still (Department of Transportation and Infrastructure), the province still held onto all the highway infrastructure outside of the old town limits,” said Spear.

Work has already begun on the project and Spear is hoping to receive the consultants’ report by the end of July.

The grant is phase two of a project that previously undertook the same exercise for underground infrastructure: water, sewer and storm mains.