Road through Hall’s Harbour to reopen soon as wharf rebuilding continues

Published on May 9, 2017

Work on rebuilding the west side of the Hall’s Harbour wharf continues on May 8.

©Kirk Starratt

HALL’S HARBOUR, NS - The wharf is the lifeblood of Hall’s Harbour as a fishing community and tourism destination and getting the failing west side replaced is of the utmost importance.

Harbour authority president and operations manager Charles Skerry said the road going through the harbour should be reopened to traffic by mid May, although work on the wharf won’t be completed by then.

Skerry said they had many meetings with Small Craft Harbours over the course of several years about getting the west side of the wharf replaced. He said community members had decked it in twice as holes started opening up.

“It was deteriorating and collapsing down into itself as wood will over the years,” Skerry said.

Last July, Kings-Hants MP and Treasury Board president Scott Brison announced on behalf of Fisheries and Oceans Canada that work to repair the failing wharf would be funded as part of $47 million earmarked for small craft harbour improvement projects in Nova Scotia.

Harbour authority secretary Sylvia Skerry said it seemed that everyone in the community was there for the announcement.

“It was quite a celebration because this was a long time coming,” she said.

Charles said the work necessitated the closure of Highway 359 through the harbour so it was important to get the project done in a year opposed to an earlier plan to complete it over two.

He said the construction contract was awarded to D.J. Lowe. Work was supposed to start in September 2016 but was delayed until January. Even though this pushed the completion date back significantly, he said the work is getting done and the contractor is doing a good job.

“It’s a slow process,” Skerry said. “You’re not going to work on the bottom of the harbour when the tide’s in.”

Sylvia said sections of cribbing were constructed individually up on the closed portion of the road. These are being set on the harbour floor and filled with rocks to form the base of the wharf.

Charles said that after the road is reopened, sometime between May 15 and 18, work on the wharf would continue until late June to bring the boardwalk over the new section of wharf to a usable state. Floating docks for recreational boats will be put back in place. The wharf work will halt during the peak tourist season and will be completed in the fall.

Skerry said the next major concern to address is the walkway connecting the eastern wharf and boardwalk section with the western section. It’s currently closed to pedestrians. Skerry said that an engineer who examined it recently determined that the supporting structure could last another two to five years.

Skerry said the walkway would either be boarded in or replaced completely. It’s critically important that this work be done because it isn’t safe to have people walking on the road to get from one side of the harbour to the other. However, there is currently no timeline in place or funding identified for this project.