Bulkhead Safety Discussed At Sidney Parks & Rec Committee Meeting

The Sidney Tiger Sharks use a bulkhead to divide the swimming pool in half during local swim meets which only happen once a year, and sometimes not at all. The bulkhead is basically a wall which provides the 25-meter length for swimmers as well as space for them to start or kick off from, and space for coaches.

The existing bulkhead is old and homemade. At the Parks and Rec committee meeting held on Tuesday, May 28, the primary focus was the safety of the structure and also whether it was damaging the gutter at the pool. Jeff Hintz, City of Sidney public works director, explained that the city’s concern is safety and that it requires documentation on the maximum weight the bulkhead would hold. “If it fails, it could trap someone under water and it may not be possible to save them,” he said.

Sidney Tiger Sharks board member Pete Erickson was present at the meeting, along with Jordan Mayer, Interstate Engineering. According to meeting minutes, Mayer said they were “now seeking concurrence of the Committee and City Council that the current bulkhead could continue to be used if the load rating analysis determines it is safe and/or it is repaired to have a safe load rating and also to modify the arms of the bulkhead so that any load from the arms will be placed on the concrete slab-on-grade deck beyond the expansion joint of the gutter section.”

Erickson explained that the Tiger Sharks started the process to replace the existing bulkhead, but due to the extreme cost of engineering and building a replacement, it is much more reasonable to certify the existing bulkhead and make repairs as needed. The Tiger Sharks would be responsible for the cost of the study as well as any repairs or replacement of the bulkhead.

Mayor Rick Norby said that getting a load rating was most important and does not see how the bulkhead is affecting the gutter. Hintz agreed but stated it is important to have an engineer review it.

The motion to approve was unanimous.

 

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