Barring any strange turns of weather or other unforeseen barriers, the contractor responsible for the waterfront revitalization project expects to have the first section completed for the June 15 deadline.
When putting the project out to tender, the City of Penticton specified that the work would have to be done in two parts, with the first work phase ending on June 15 to make way for the busy tourist season.
“Most of the hard work is out of the way, the thinking part, now it is just a few big pours and off we go,” said Matt Kenyon of Greyback Construction.
All the concrete should be poured by next week, he continued, and then it is a matter of waiting for it to cure. After that, the concrete forms will be stripped, along with some miscellaneous landscaping, tie-ins and clean up.
“Then we strip the underside of the boardwalk, tear the fence down and we are out of there.”
Tyler Figgit, a design supervisor with the City of Penticton, said the only thing the city needs to do to make the area operational again is to connect the streetlights once Greyback is finished.
“The contractor is confident they are going to meet our schedule and the city is completely satisfied with what Greyback has been doing,” said Figgit.
The piece being worked on, near the iconic Peach, will see a new five-metre-wide concrete boardwalk on pilings over the beach, as well as an upgraded trail and other improvements. But it is just the beginning of a project which will see the entire walkway, from the SS Sicamous to the Peach, upgraded.
So far, the project has more or less gone as planned, Kenyon said, though they changed from the original plan of casting the concrete boardwalk pieces by the roadside then lifting them out to the pilings. Now the sections will be cast in place.
“It was less logistics and easier to form it as well,” he said, noting that casting in place made it easier to get the angles and lines required for each section. “And there is less disruption of the trees from the crane trying to lift that stuff up. It also allowed us to work on other sections of the job at the same time.”
“It allowed, I think, a better end product. Anytime you cast in place, you get a stronger better job out of it,” said Kenyon, comparing it to completing a solid structure rather than fitting Lego blocks together.
The boardwalk section is the most difficult part of the job, according to Kenyon, who said they decided to get that finished as soon as possible.
“We started on the most complex part of the project. We needed to in order to have it done in the timeframe. If we had started it after the summer, with the rest of the work, it would have been a lot harder for us to get it turned over,” said Kenyon. “We thought this was the safest route, to do this, get it done and not take the risk of opening some stuff up and half doing it, and disrupting tourists and business all summer long.”
Kenyon said they also decided to take a conservative approach, concentrating their efforts and not opening up another section of the project yet. This way, he said, the section will be complete and usable, and when they return for the second building phase in September, they will go full bore on the rest of the walkway.
“At that point, we are really going to open her up,” said Kenyon. “That’s what we are going to do in the off time, is plan the rest of it out and we will have a more detailed plan before we start there.”