Dismantling of Vancouver’s English Bay barge finally underway

Vancouver Pile Driving has spent the past few weeks driving temporary piles around the derelict barge to secure it

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Workers are seen in front of the abandoned barge at English Bay in Vancouver as dismantling begins in early August. The work should last between 12 and 15 weeks. Photo by Nick Procaylo /PNG

The painstaking and sometimes noisy job of dismantling a massive barge that ran aground in English Bay during a massive winter storm last year has finally begun in earnest.

Vancouver Pile Driving has spent the past few weeks driving temporary piles around the derelict barge to secure it while dismantling work is underway. The company then installed safety barriers and fences.

Now comes the actual deletion. It is expected to take three to four months, meaning the barge should finally be gone just under a year after the storm and royal tide on November 15, 2021 pushed it ashore and beached it.

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Refloating the barge proved impossible and it languished on the beach for so long that it was renamed Barge Chilling Beach – a riff on the unofficial renaming of Vancouver’s Guelph Park to Dude Chilling Park in recognition of an abstract “reclining man” sculpture.

While area residents will have to deal with noise during construction from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, those using the seawall and beach will not be affected. All material removal is done from the water side of the barge and the company said the sensitive marine environment will remain intact.

The City of Vancouver says the dismantling must comply with noise regulations and will be monitored throughout.

It will include the removal of barge walls and hulls in sections, with material being loaded onto support barges and transported by sea to a storage area, where it will be processed and recycled.

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