City faces a dilemma over viewing platform at Tyee Spit

The city is turning to the public for help in determining what to do with a decaying viewing platform at the Tyee Spit

The city is turning to the public for help in determining what to do with a decaying viewing platform at the Tyee Spit.

City staff have been tasked with reporting back to council on the projected costs to renovate, re-build or remove the platform all together.

On Wednesday night, staff asked the city’s Community Services, Recreation and Culture Commission which is made up of members of the public, to provide some direction.

“Staff are seeking direction from the (commission) as to the community value of the viewing platform and a recommendation to either repair, remove or replace the structure,” wrote Jason Decksheimer, the city’s asset management supervisor, in a report to the commission.

The viewing platform, which extends over Tyee Spit in the north west corner of Dick Murphy Park, has been cordoned off since May because it is a safety hazard.

A structural inspection found there is severe and widespread fungal decay in the platform’s log stringers and deck, both of which need to be replaced.

Council, at its Aug. 12 meeting voted to have city staff go ahead with either renovating or rebuilding the walkway for up to $50,000.

Mayor Walter Jakeway was the only one opposed.

The rest of council, however, changed its mind a couple of weeks later after Coun. Andy Adams questioned the cost.

“After…attending the Tyee Club’s opening of their new docks and getting a feel of what their costs were, looking at this motion to give staff the green light to spend up to $50,000 I think needs to be re-visited,” Adams said at an Aug. 26 council meeting. “I think we need to really get a better handle as to what the cost is.”

Adams said he wanted city staff to have a “sober second look” as to how to mitigate some of the expenses.

Now, staff are saying that based on local expertise the estimated cost to completely re-build the platform is $75,000.

To remove the platform, the city is looking at $15,000, according to Decksheimer.

Whatever decision is made, Decksheimer said it’s unlikely the work would be able to get underway any time soon.

“Due to DFO fisheries windows, work on this structure below the high water line, such as the removal of, or addition of pilings, can only be done between Nov.1 and Feb.15,” Decksheimer wrote. “Based on the necessity of engineered drawings, the timelines required for competitive bidding, and the availability of pile driving firms, it is unlikely that any work, including removal, can proceed prior to Nov.1.”

Decksheimer said there is also another option.

Council could opt to build a moderately sized viewing platform on shore, rather than over the water, which would require “significantly less expense”.

Council is expected to receive the committee’s recommendation for what to do with the viewing platform at next Tuesday’s council meeting.