The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority said construction of the pier extension at Ogden Point will now start this summer and be finished for the 2020 cruise season following the loss of a large-diameter pile shipment at sea.
Back on Dec. 3, steel piling intended for the Pier B mooring dolphin extension went overboard on its trip from China, about 250 nautical miles from Vancouver. The 200-foot-long sections were built in China and weigh 400,000 pounds each, totalling 362 tons.
At the time, Ian Robertson, CEO of the GVHA, said the loss adds $3 million to $4 million to the initial cost of the project. The cost would come from the authority.
The mooring dolphin extension is intended to accommodate larger vessels at Victoria’s cruise ship terminal.
After the loss, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) proceeded with a modified design using smaller diameter piles. The design required GVHA to source steel from the North American market.
“The requirements for steel were stringent, with safety and long-term stability of utmost concern. Unfortunately, no pre-cast steel that met these standards was available through any North American supplier,” Ian Robertson, CEO of the GVHA, said in a statement.
Robertson said the harbour authority decided to then work with the BC Pilots Association and Royal Caribbean International on testing options for safe moorage of the Ovation of the Seas at Pier A South and revert to the original plan of a large-diameter pile structure.
The testing was done on Feb. 1 and the GVHA has decided to have Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of Seas, which will be the largest cruise ship to dock at Ogden Point, berth at Pier A South for the 2019 cruise season. It will make its first stop in Victoria on May 12, 2019.
The large diameter pile has been ordered through the GVHA’s contractor and is expected to be delivered in the summer from China.
More than $6.8 million in joint funding toward a dolphin extension project at Pier B, to extend the dolphin by more than 55 metres from its current 70-metre structure, was announced in November 2018.
The GVHA said the changes in plans do not impact the federal funding and they are able to “remain close” to the original capital project budget of $6.8 million. Brian Cant, manager of communications and marketing for the GVHA, said the increased costs are still being, and include engineer’s drawings and project work, but it will not “greatly increase” the $6.8-million budget.
With files from Carla Wilson, The Times Colonist