According to Town records, the Saint Andrews Market Square was first constructed in the 1800’s as a centre of commerce, assembly, and conversation. The older section of the current Market Wharf (closest to the shore) was constructed in 1956.
Fast forward many decades and a few developments later, to the dilemma facing Council today… how to protect these valuable Town assets from mounting structural vulnerabilities and the effects of climate change, while still respecting the heritage and traditions that have helped shape how these spaces have been used and who we are as a seaside community.
At first glance, these assets may appear to be in great shape. Indeed, they were built solidly and have served the Town well for several decades. Unfortunately though, a close look reveals serious deterioration which must be addressed very soon if they are to be protected for future generations.
Wooden cribwork, retaining walls, and decking have settled and rotted under the Square and several surface areas are sinking due to the movement of fines beneath the surface. At the Wharf, some of the cross bracing, decking, and fender piles have rotted and ballast boxes and trestle posts are broken and worn. The decay and settlement of the wood is now resulting in cracking and settling and spalling of the concrete decking above. Normal tidal action, combined with the anticipated effects of sea level rise and storm surges, are expected to accelerate the rate of deterioration at both sites.
The Town’s engineering consultant, CBCL Ltd. has developed concept drawings and cost estimates for Council’s consideration to protect the area. The design would see the Square extended slightly further out into the Bay, but protected by armour stone, and the stone extending to connect to/ line both sides of the older section of Market Wharf. Not surprisingly, the work comes with a hefty price-tag of approx. $3.3 million, which cannot be borne by the Town without funding support from the other two levels of government.
Council would like to hear your opinions on the design concept. Therefore, all residents are invited to an Open House from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Sept. 25 in the Arena Ballroom.