Fisherman’s Wharf deconstruction under way

A more than 50-year-old structure on the Campbell River shoreline is coming down, the Fishermans Wharf.

“Fisheries and Oceans Canada Small Craft Harbours Branch is tearing out the old north wharf approach and installing a drive down floating concrete dock for ease of loading and offloading product from fishermen,” said Phyllis Titus, manager of the Fishermans Wharf.

In the business plan for ten years and in the works for five years, the federally funded project was top of the list when the government announced extra funding for small craft harbours across Canada in 2014, Titus explained.

“It’s to the end of it’s lifespan, the creosote is to the end of its life span and it would cost more to fix it than it would to replace it,” Titus said.

At the moment, Salish Sea Industrial is using their 150-ton crane to deconstruct the existing wharf.

The concrete and timbers were pre-drilled and pre-cut to keep things neat and tidy, but the dirt and pieces that that do fall in the ocean will be dredged.

Once the deconstruction is done, the dredge will take two or three weeks to remove the extra soil on the ocean floor that would otherwise get in the way of construction, Titus said. The “hot soil,” as Titus called it, needs to be disposed of on land and will be shipped up the Fraser River to an in-land waste facility.

As for the creosoted timbers, they will be disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner at the Campbell River Waste Management Centre.

The new, public, floating dock will be accessible by truck.

Titus said the increased accessibility will attract new business to the wharf.

“It’s going to be a big economic boost for Campbell River,” she said. “It will be where large fishing vessels can come and offload.”

With the construction of the new wharf the government is also building a permanent base for the Coast Guard.

Titus hopes that the $3 million project will be complete before the end of March as any day now they will have to restrict access to the site because of construction.