(BUFFALO, NY) Nearly six months after huge chunks of ice damaged the pillars of the Bird Island Pier, work crews began to repair the damage on Wednesday.
“We got a low bid of $73,000 from BIDCO Marine Group. It’s a local company that does a lot of marine type work around here,” said Michael Finn, commissioner of Public Works for the City of Buffalo. “They gave us a schedule of somewhere between six to eight weeks, as long as the weather and water cooperates. This is marine work, so they’re dependent on at least safe water that they can work off of.”
The crew worked from a barge near the Peace Bridge, using blow torches to cut the old bent pillars and replace them with newly fabricated pillars. More than a hundred posts which hold a wire hand rail on the walkway were bent down under the weight of huge ice chunks last February.
On a typical winter a few of them are damaged, but that winter event was out of the ordinary, according to Finn. ‘The size of the ice coming over the ice boom, that was really unusual with that storm that came over the winter.”
While the work is going on, pedestrians will still be able to walk out onto the Bird Island Pier, but only on the first stretch, about a quarter mile, up to the Peace Bridge, where the ice damage begins.
“So far, we’ve had good cooperation and patience and good understanding from residents and users of that,” said Finn. “We’re hoping by the end of September, work will be completed and when it’s complete and safe, we’ll reopen the entire stretch to public access.”