It's official, the English Bay Barge is about to go from one big piece of metal to many small ones.
Barge deconstruction preparation is going on now, with the last stray wood chips being cleaned out (it was used to haul wood chips around) along with anything else that needs to be cleaned up on the inside.
At the same time, temporary piles are being installed near the barge to support the marine work that'll take place off of the barge, including using a crane to lift the pieces of the barge off of itself and into another barge, which will haul the pieces away.
The main work will start the week of Aug. 2, according to the company tasked with removing the big red barge.
"A demolition excavator will be lifted onto the barge to remove the bin walls," says a spokesperson in an email.
It will use what are essentially massive tin snips to cut the barge into manageable chunks, which the crane will then move.
"The full process to deconstruct and remove the barge from English Bay will take 12 to 15 weeks," notes the spokesperson.
Most of the pieces will be hauled down to a scrapyard near Tacoma, Washington, to be recycled.
While the barge hasn't moved (aside from the tides lifting it up and down) since November 15, when it ran aground during the big storm that preceded the flooding in Abbotsford. It's been there 254 days (as of the writing of this story).
The unusual sight spurred memes, songs and other creativity over the months while the company that owned the barge (Sentry Marine Towing), the insurance company and different government bodies worked out what to do and then how to do it.