Monday, 10 July 2017

Floating Boardwalk Installation

With construction of the new Queen's Marque development going full bore between the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Cable Wharf, a portion of the Halifax waterfront boardwalk is no longer available for pedestrians looking to walk the waterfront and see the sights (and avoid the bottleneck that is Lower Water Street in summer). 

Waterfront Development has therefore been working on a solution to bridge the gap, and a new temporary floating boardwalk runs from the south side of Cable Wharf to the wharf where CSS Acadia is berthed. 

The new floating boardwalk stretches south from the Cable Wharf to a point just forward of CSS Acadia.
A row of steel piles provides lateral anchorage for the connected boardwalk sections, and they slide up and down these piles with the tide. Gangways at each end ramp down to the boardwalk, and provide accessible access for everyone to enjoy this new waterfront feature, regardless of the water level. I haven't tried the boardwalk during inclement weather, and I wouldn't be surprised it is closed altogether if the wind and waves don't cooperated, but I was pleasantly surprised at how stable it was.

Local contractor Waterworks used their base in Woodside as a staging area, from which the boardwalk floats were put in the water and towed to Halifax. The floats were also used to provide a free ride to the piles required to hold the whole thing in place.

A boardwalk float is towed from the staging area.

The float and "tug" seemed awful small in the middle of the harbour, especially with Maasdam as a backdrop.
Construction started at the Cable Wharf end, and continued south to the Maritime Museum. 

The pile driver sits on the shore side of the floating boardwalk, driving piles from north to south. On the left is the imaginatively named "Pontoon 1", which is the former Woodside Ferry Terminal float (minus its superstructure). Waterworks replaced this pontoon in 2014 with a new concrete version, and evidently kept the old steel one for themselves.
The boardwalk sections are held together by bolted steel connections, and the gap between each float is bridged with a hinged metal connection.

The two connectors are visible on either side of the raft.
Railing posts were installed on shore, but the in-fill between each post was added once everything was in place.

The public making use of the completed floating boardwalk.

Another view of the completed project.
Once complete, the Waterworks pile driver and barge Commdive II were towed back to Woodside.

Commdive II under tow of a small Dominion Diving tug, and Waterworks I following along behind - presumably used for steering.
The floating boardwalk will remain in place for the summer months, and will be dismantled for the winter. Presumably the steel piles will remain in place, but I'm guessing. The boardwalk is open during the day, but appears to be closing around dusk each evening, so it isn't open around the clock.

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