Construction of a new pier at the foot of Hall Street will start this fall.
This week the City of Nelson issued a request for proposals for the first part of the project: the demolition of the existing pier and the installation of new pilings.
That work is expected to be done before the new year. Meanwhile, the city will put out for tender the construction of the new pier to be built in 2022.
Mayor John Dooley told the Nelson Star the city has known for a long time that the pier would need replacing.
“It was starting to show its age in a hurry,” he said. “The decking needed to be replaced, at the very least. But once we took a further look at it, we realized that the right thing to do is to remove the old creosote pilings that are in there and just do a complete revamp of it.”
In addition to demolition and new piles, the revamp includes a new deck, a canopy on the north end, floating docks, seating, and housing for the the historic speedboat Ladybird, for a total cost of $2,500,000.
This cost will be covered by an already-received $1,000,000 grant from the provincial Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program and $500,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust. The remaining $1,000,000 will be provided by the city. Dooley said that money had already been saved and set aside with a pier reconstruction in mind.
The Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program was set up by the province to provide one-time infrastructure funding grants for shovel-ready projects to restart the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dooley says a big part of the first stage of the project will be extracting, without breaking them into fragments, the “creosote-soaked pylons that probably shouldn’t be in the water in the first place.”
He said the project will create jobs and will be a new tourism attraction for the city.
“In my opinion it’s a no-brainer, and I think it will be a fantastic landmark for the community.”
The city proposed the Hall Street pier project last year in an attempt to create shovel-ready capital projects to stimulate the economy during the pandemic, along with two other proposed projects that are still in the fundraising, planning and decision stages: a new library and changes to the Civic Theatre building.