Viewing platform to have rot and decay removed

Council voted last week to spend up to $10,000 to remove all of the unsafe elements of the platform

The city is removing a portion of the decaying viewing platform at Dick Murphy Park which has been out of commission for the last six months.

Council voted last week to spend up to $10,000 to remove all of the unsafe elements of the platform, which includes the timber deck platform and guardrails which rest on three log stringers.

The pilings and concrete abutment on shore will be left in place to possibly be used as part of a new and improved structure in the future, said Jason Decksheimer, the city’s asset management supervisor.

Decksheimer said to remove the entire structure would have cost $15,000 and the cost to completely re-build the platform is estimated at $75,000.

Decksheimer said city staff consulted with the city’s Community Services, Recreation and Culture Commission to gauge public opinion on the value of the platform which is located at the north end of Tyee Spit next to Corilair.

“The Commission noted the value of the platform for those viewing the estuary and float plane activity, particularly for small children whose sight lines are obscured by the close-shore vegetation,” Decksheimer said. “It was also noted that the current platform offers easy access for those with mobility issues.”

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

City council has been debating what to do with the platform since May when the city discovered severe and widespread fungal decay in the platform’s log stringers and deck. The platform has been cordoned off ever since.

In August, council voted to have city staff go ahead with either renovating or rebuilding the walkway for up to $50,000, with Mayor Walter Jakeway opposed.

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

Decksheimer said council does have one other, cheaper option. That’s to build a moderately sized viewing platform on shore, rather than over the water.