City looks to re-build Tyee Spit platform

The city is moving forward with re-building a hazardous viewing platform at Dick Murphy Park on the Campbell River Estuary

The city is moving forward with re-building a hazardous viewing platform at Dick Murphy Park on the Campbell River Estuary.

The city has issued a non-binding request for proposals for three different options to replace the structure which was removed last year for safety reasons.

The city is looking for three concept designs – one that would involve a new structure similar in design and size to the original, one with a T shape design that would extend further out into the estuary, and one that would involve re-building the platform on-shore. City staff plan to present those designs to city council  in mid-October.

A total of $25,000 has been budgeted for the designs which will determine the best way forward in replacing the platform, which is located at the north end of the Tyee Spit near Corilair.

That decision was made during council’s budget planning session in February, although there was some disagreement over the price tag.

Mayor Andy Adams thought it was too much.

“My concern is that at $25,000 – that’s for design and not for repairing or construction at all – and I find that somewhat unpalatable,” Adams said in February. “I also know this might be something of interest to service clubs or interest groups around town (to sponsor) but I find $25,000 a little hard to take.”

Coun. Ron Kerr said he couldn’t understand why the city would want to take on another viewing platform when it can just barely keep up with maintenance on the existing bird blind.

“I think we have a current lookout to the south that we’re not able to maintain properly so I don’t see at this point any point in putting funds toward a new platform,” Kerr said.

But Coun. Charlie Cornfield, who during a previous term on council sat on a Dick Murphy Park master plan committee, said the platform is a key component of the park.

“I think looking at alternatives that suit the site and the existing condition need to be done,” Cornfield said during budget planning.

In the end, at the Feb. 25 budget meeting, council defeated a motion to fund the design work from the Parks Parcel Tax but no other action was taken to delete the project from the budget.

Staff have estimated it will cost around $75,000 to re-build the platform, however, building a smaller structure on shore would be cheaper.

The platform was inherited by the city in 2008 during amalgamation of the property at the end of Tyee Spit. It previously served as the approachway to a set of floating docks belonging to the previous land owner.