Pier delayed to 2013 unless new solution found

Next update: April 20, Community Services Com., 6:30pm, City Hall

Burlington's unfinished pier - winterYou could have heard a pin drop in council chambers when senior staff revealed in March that the retender package for the pier likely won’t go to market till mid-July, with tenders not expected back till Sept. 26. That means this process will cost the city a year. Remember the previous council voted to retender last September!

I didn’t vote to retender the pier because of these kinds of delays. I’m also concerned about continuing our legal battle, which may end up being a Pyrrhic victory: we could win, but at what cost to delays, transparency and legal fees?

That said, now that the path has been chosen by council, I have pledged to do what I can to see this project to a successful completion. To that end, I have requested that every Community Services Committee include public updates on where we’re at, which was unanimously supported by my colleagues. This will increase transparency and allow council to take a more active role in overseeing this project and moving it forward.

My take: I’m glad council and the public will now get regularly scheduled updates on the pier. I still hold out hope that the parties to this dispute will come back to the negotiating table before the tender goes out, and offer a reasonable solution to finish the pier, either with the current contractor or a consortium of other contractors. I’ve always preferred a negotiated settlement to a litigated one – so long as it protects taxpayers and delivers a quality, cost-effective project.

  • Linda

    2013???!!! Tear the pier down….cut our losses now!!!!

  • M.L. Holton

    City LEGAL will never back down without Council’s AUTHORITY. Use it.
    Get the primary parties negotiating again. At present, any ‘good faith’ has evaporated.
    Attack it from the perspective of a NEW Council with a DIFFERENT mandate/vision.
    Good luck.

  • Govan76

    Tear the folly down………….. I can walk along the waterfront horizontally, I do not need to walk on an s shaped pier which has been an eyesore to our waterfront for how long!!!!!!!!

  • Rick

    Have a referendum with two questions:
    1) finish the pier at any cost
    2) tear the pier down
    Then abide by the referendum, period!

  • Grhughes

    What a boondoggle. Tear the eyesore down, and save the taxpayers at least SOME money. The monies saved could be better used elsewhere.


  • Bill Shirley

    The pier was a foolish project from the beginning – who needs to walk out on a
    short pier to see the lake – it will serve no useful purpose and what will happen when
    storms wash up over it and it becomes frozen. Mr. Mayor -tear down that pier.

  • Dave Spragge

    I agree with Bill Shirley’s comment below – without being built as a permanent marina, the pier’s usability and ultimate attractiveness are severely limited.
    I would add though that no-one seems to be pointing the finger of blame at the City’s oversight of the project from day-one. Competent project engineers who work for the City should have been conducting regular inspections from the moment construction began. If it was done, those who did it should be asked to explain themselves.

  • Mike Vencel

    Who ever thought that you could build a pier [S shaped at that] out into the lake and tie up small craft to it without a breakwall or other protection, doesn’t know anything about the power of the wind, waves and ice. All they had to do is look at a map of Lake Ontario and see that there is nothing between Burlington and the mouth of the St Lawrence River and when the wind starts to blow from the east there is nothing to protect the pier or small craft from the elements. Better to take down the pier now before nature does it for you.

  • Tiernay

    With this pier being such an “anchor” around the City’s neck, has consideration been given to removing it (and relevant costing) and not having an expensive, unecessary landmark?

  • Don Crossley

    As I have been saying for over a year now, stop wasting any more time by staff & council on this ill conceived project and send out a tender for tearing it down and get rid of this eyesore and embarrassment to our city once and for all.

    Don Crossley

  • Bill Robertson

    I agree with your position as we are seeing the retendering process is very time consuming and I would expect any contractor wating to bid will have to address the uncertain items and could be even more costly. Have staff provided a revised budget with this new timeline?

  • Wendy Whitehead

    I look at this eyesore everyday from my condo window. Not only is it an eyesore because it is not finished and probably never will be, but the city store their garbage cans in the area, picnic tables, sometimes johnny on the spots, the wall around the entrance is old, marked, paper is peeling, the whole area is an eyesore. The City needs to spend the money to remove it and start storing their parks and rec equipment somewhere else!

    So take it down, keep the paved area for people to walk around and get over it. I agree, lets take a vote!

  • Clarkd

    How could this sort of delay be possible ? Perhaps there are good explanations. Haste can make waste (?)

  • Doug Campbell

    Tear it down, cut the losses and move on. The existing eyesore gives an entire new meaning to “boondoggle” and “albatross” and the re-tendering process only exacerbates that fact. Unfortunately it would seem that any and all rational pleas to remove the damned thing have fallen on deaf ears and the city seems hell-bent on continuing to send good money after bad.
    Surely, at least, the City, in its infinite wisdom and, in deference to a visual environment, could do something immediately that ensures a visual enhancement of the entire site.
    Doug Campbell

  • Deby

    What did Senior Staff think was going to happen when they set out to retender the project, instead of letting the current contractor finish the project? Does anyone involved in the Pier at City Hall have a business background? It made no sense to retender the project. Let the current contractor finish the pier and move on. Use the money that’s been held back for the pier project, to finish the pier vs. wasting that money on duplicate work and legal fees. This has been very frustrating to watch from the beginning. I truly hope the City Engineer that is responsible for this mess is no longer on the payroll!

  • Tessahouse

    This is rubbish, not until 2013, what are they thinking ? I am pretty sure most would want a negotiated settlement ., This is such an eyesore – Burlington residents deserve better from Council.