Sunday, February 17, 2013

Halterm pier 42 south

The new extension to Halterm's pier 42 has been closed to the public since last week's big snow storm. As the prime shipwatching spot in Halifax it was rarely if ever closed before this extension was built. There were times that the walkway was knee deep in snow, but it was always open any time I was willing to brave it.
I regret not having the vantage point now, but as today's storm front passed through I think it was probably necessary to close it off for safety reasons.
Since the extension was built much larger waves have been washing in on the breakwater, and as can be seen from the above below, swells are actually reaching up onto the breakwater portion. There is no telling how much undermining this is doing, but there were several iffy areas before, and I expect a survey will reveal that they are much worse now.
Adding to the problem is the fact that the new pier extension walkway is too narrow for the snow clearing "Bobcat" that would normally be tasked with plowing. The old walkway was much wider. Not only that but the new pier extension area now drains across the walkway, resulting in very dangerous icing. In summary the walkway might not be safe even in good weather, if it is snow covered or icy.
Then there is the issue of  the pier deck itself. Soon after it was built a number of heavy weight containers appeared on the deck. These are not waiting to be shipped anywhere-they are placed in nice even rows, well spaced, and must be there for a purpose. Is it true that they are there to ballast down the deck due to concerns about uplift from seas under the deck? If that is so, how about the cantilevered walkway itself?
The old walkway was of an entirely different design and was in fact an excellent deflector of seas. The new one does not give that level of confidence, and it will be interesting to see what it looks like when it re-opens.

1 comment:

  1. These containers on the pier extension are empty. They are damaged containers placed there so that work can be done on them out of the way. That is why they are spaced out like this. They are not "heavy weight containers".