Local Journalism Initiative
BRISTOL – Divers from ODS Marine Construction conducted an underwater inspection of the Norway Bay wharf on December 1. Three divers took turns over more than six hours examining the 260 meters of the steel structure. The results were captured on video, including each divers’ comments on what they were seeing.
Over 70 years of wear and tear has taken a toll on the sheet pile structure. Both divers and their supervisor, Mike Chard, used the term “Swiss cheese” when asked about the wharf’s general condition. Ice erosion has worn it paper-thin, 30-50 cm below the waterline, with holes ranging from small to cavities large enough that the divers could put their arms through. The divers generally avoided striking the metal to determine soundness for fear of causing further damage.
Repair is going to be a large and costly job. Bristol Council has already paid out close to $20,000 to W.F. Baird and Associates Coastal Engineers for the study of the structure and recommendations for action. The evaluation by ODS Marine Construction, recommended by the engineering firm, cost over $11,000.