Monday, May 16, 2011

Blaney Street Pier Update

The Salem Ferry is supposed to resume service on Friday, May 27, from the far end of the Blaney Street Pier. I'm here to tell you that there is no way that the work on the pier will be finished in time for that. The city says they are on schedule to be open, though there may be some small finish work left over. I would bet money right now that in about a week we'll hear that they aren't going to make it due to the weather. I'm telling you that if the weather were pristine they wouldn't make it. The weather will, however, provide a nice excuse. Don't get me wrong, they've generally worked hard, included late into the evening several nights. However, the only people I ever saw working on the weekends were the subcontractors who did the actual seawall, and they've been gone for a while. I took a peak at the progress today, and I think the pictures mostly speak for themselves.

The muddy entrance to the pier site, clearly ready for paving

Former underground pipes

All of those pipes have to end up under ground

Without even entering the site, we see that there is a large amount of standing water, that has little chance of drying up this week, with rain forecast every day. We also see a large number of sewer pipes that are still above ground. Before the Blaney Street Pier can be paved, all of those sewer lines need to be placed below the ground.

A not yet connected sewer pipe

One of many piles of boulders that needs to go away

I call this Lake Blaney. Looks like a storm drain is needed there.

This must be miserable for the neighbors

 In addition to the sewer lines and drains that have not been laid, there is a large trailer full of water supply pipes that haven't been buried yet. Again, these have to go underground before paving. Next we'll look at unfinished drains.

One of several storm drains not yet placed.

Though not finished, this storm drain is hard at work collecting water

A storm drain waiting for duty

No idea what the giant block in the middle is, but notice the two connected storm drains to the right. This crater is about 12 feet deep, and about 50 or 60 feet across. Lots of work to fill this in. (Click image for full size version)

Finally, we have unfinished electrical work. All of the electrical is being put underground, meaning like the plumbing, it has to be done prior to the final paving. At best, it appears to be a work in progress, with plenty left to do.

Underground conduits being installed. This is about halfway down the pier, where the pedestrian path used to be. Notice that there is no cabling installed, and the concrete doesn't appear to be drying.

Behind the rotting wood, see large amounts of metal bar used in forming the concrete form for the conduits. Lots still to use.

Empty electrical conduits coming out of the ground in the middle of the pier.

As you can see, there is much to do before they can even think about leveling the ground and paving. In fact, there appears to be very little in the way of finish materials even present on site.

These bricks are the only finish materials I see on site. Note the new seawall curving behind the bricks.

 To me, the question isn't whether or not this project will be done for May 27, but more likely whether or not it will be complete for the large crowd that usually appears for the fourth of July fireworks. If this project is substantially complete on May 27 I'll be utterly shocked. You've seen the conditions, what do you think? I'd bet, like the person exiting the site when I was entering, the real answer is not a chance. Hope you enjoyed the pics. I may never be able to wear the shoes I had on again.

I hope the penalties for late delivery in Hugo Key's contract are severe, but judging by the lack of weekend work I doubt it.


  1. Nice photos Klassy.

  2. I would love to have your investigative photography put to work in the Broad Street Cemetery, G. The Cemetery and Shade manager has been promising me for months that they will do something "soon" about the deplorable state it is in. He must be the same guy in charge of the Blaney Street Pier work!

  3. That pier theory will never achieve it's expected goal and will end up being a hugh expense when repairs are needed.

  4. and those bricks are disappearing quick - keep it klassy salem!

  5. What about those horrible tanks in the background? Who owns them? It's only a matter of time before Dominion offers to sell them to the City and what a deal!!!!

  6. I believe that by law those tanks were supposed to be removed by law when they were no longer in use, which has been the case for years, I understand.

    They really are ugly, and pose a potential danger.

  7. I wonder what the penalty would be for breaking a law when it comes to dealing with an obvious hazardous material site? The City of Salem would rather sit back and let companies walk all over US and keep raising OUR taxes.What a great gesture by Dominion to unload Blaney street and reduce the amount of land they own and pay taxes on.Next year we will probably find out the tank farm is polluting Blaney St and we can't use it.

  8. That's a very good point. Luckily, if the mayor won't test the parks that our kids play in, there's no chance at all that she'll let them test here.

  9. At some point those tanks will have to be removed and when that happens that is when contamination of surrounding areas likely will be found.As for the parks,some people may know that McGrath park at one time was used as a dump by the City of Salem. Why are our tax dollars being used to do a study on that site? The City created that contamination and all of a sudden the taxpayers are footing the bill! Maybe it's a little to close to the Mayor's house.This Mayor and SOME of the Coucilors are marching to the beat of their own drums.Maybe we should sell it for $1 like the transfer station

  10. If Northside Carting wants the cleanup headache and will give us a dollar to take it on I think I'm pretty OK with that.


Don't forget, keep it klassy!