BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Since the 80s, people have been using Bird Island Pier as a recreational spot for walking and fishing.
But a 2010 report from the Army Corp. of Engineers deemed the area beyond the Peace Bridge to have structural weak points.
"There is erosion that has occurred. There is undercutting that has occurred underneath the grouted stone. The concern was that if fisherpersons and members of the public walked out on that stone, that it could break off and they could be injured," explained civil engineer Keith Jones.
Deputy Commissioner for Parks and Recreation Andy Rabb added, "The city took the Army Corp. report and actively sought funds to try to reopen it. We put in a Greenway application last year and received $750,000 from the Buffalo Niagara Greenway Commission and that is the money that is being used to do this."
The repairs began in October and the first phase will be completed November 10. Crews will break for the winter and return again in April to complete the section of the project that goes from the Peace Bridge to the second refuge platform.
In 2006, engineers did a test repair and have not seen any structural damage in that six-year span. The repairs currently being done are based on that test, and the Army Corp. of Engineers says they expect this to last for decades.
"We have done that by adding six-ton concrete blocks at the tow. Behind that we add stone and steel mesh and we grout that in with concrete," Jones said.
The city and the Corp of Engineers both asked that people respect the signs and not walk on the areas under construction because it is dangerous.
The city is looking at different sources to fund the second phase of the project and finish repairs to the pier.
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