Development Committee Report
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
NOTE: This is a verbatim excerpt from official meeting notes from the City of St. John's
Paul Sheppard from the Port Authority & Ray Bailey, Engineering Consultant re: Harbour Drive Fence Project. (Ward 2)
Mr. Sheppard and Mr. Bailey attended the meeting and gave a presentation and update with respect to the Harbour Drive Fence Project. As a point of background, they indicated that following the 911 terrorist attack, agencies, and in particular Transport Canada has requestedimproved security measures for ports across the country. Recognizing the St. John's port is a working port, it has become necessary to secure the area for safety and immigration issues.
The fence project, while initially estimated at $900,000, a modification to keep the viewing area at ground level, was necessary to keep the project on budget. It is hoped that a January tender call will result in competitive prices and an early start on construction.
Discussion took place as to the logistics of the fence operating noting that approximately 60% of the harbor front will be locked most of the time to facilitate operations for vessels. This area will be opened on an exception basis only. As for the remaining 40%, there will be limited access for the public, particularly in the area of the Keg where two new restaurants are soon to be under construction.
With respect to snowclearing operations, the City will be provided with keyed (FOB) access. The Port Authority has not yet determined if it will be necessary to have the wharf manned by security personnel.
Councillor O'Leary expressed her concerns with respect to the impact the construction of a fencewould have on the general public, noting that residents have been accustomed to using the harbour front as a leisure area. While recognizing the need for secure areas, she stated there ought to be a greater balance in the planning the entire harbour front. She noted there is a vast mix of activity there i.e. operation of Pier 17 which is Industrial, the Harbourside Park, the Terry Fox Monument area, 60% of the harbor front which will be under lock down and the remaining 40% being fragmented and not always available for the public.
The City Manager explained that the port if owned and operated by the Federal Government and as such, the City does not have jurisdiction over the area. The Port Authority recognizes the need to ensure the harbor front is aesthetically pleasing and hence the City has agreed to cost-share the project.
Discussion concluded with no action required.