From high in the rafters, down to the riverbed, the Seismic 2000 crew has been busy removing the rotting pilings and replacing them with new ones underneath the Cannery’s oil drum shed (now referred to as the maintenance building).
The old archaeologist in me was excited by the prospect of getting right into the mud with them, smelling the dirt and inspecting the strange and bizarre things they may have unearthed. Excited by the work, I grabbed my rubber boots, my camera and joined the crew for a photo shoot. Being there reminded me of my childhood, hanging out for hours under our porch with other neighbourhood kids and my longstanding love for mud (I used to dig deep – little girl-sized – holes in my mom’s garden, fill them with water and jump in. This was one of my favorite pastimes, to my mother’s great disdain). Playing in the mud was fun for me, but nothing like the hard work that faced the Seismic 2000 crew this week. After they located the rotten pilings beneath the shed, the crew had to dig deep down into the mud to expose the concrete pile foundations, they then removed the old rotten piles, screwed metal supports into the concrete, added new piles, and using really large screws and wooden supports, they secured them in place. Down there, the crew wore hip waders and boots to keep themselves dry, although I am certain that by the end of the day, they’d find mud in places they never had mud before! They also must have noses of steel because the stench of creosote was thick in the air.
After days of traipsing around the squishy Fraser River mud this past week, the crew successfully secured 12 new piles which will keep the oil drum shed from sinking into the river for another 80 years. And I, I got to relive my love for the mud for another 30 years!