A little more than two weeks after a storm damaged White Rock’s pier and promenade, the mayor is giving the public an idea of what repairs could look like, and just how much it could cost.
In a video posted to the city’s website, Mayor Darryl Walker gave an update to the damage to the pier and promenade from the storm that hit the city a little more than two weeks ago.
“I will tell you now — the pier will be replaced, and we’ll start working on it as soon as we possibly can and we hope to have something up and running for the pier some time in the latter part of August.”
Walker said a new pier could cost between $5 and $6 million, “and that’s not including the contingencies and the possibility of well in excess of half-a-million dollars for the promenade.”
He said the city has started to receive some of the preliminary studies, understanding what the damage of the pier is.
“There are still boats jammed underneath pilings of the pier, making it not only dangerous to be anywhere near the pier but also on the shoreline down there. These are large vessels that have can move at any time and cause damage,” he said.
“It is our intention to have them out of there as quickly as possible — we hope within the next week.”
Walker said the city hopes to start looking at doing some reparations “within the next month or so.”
“We’re looking at designs we can use to reconstruct the pier. We want to take it back to very close to what it was in the past. We may actually do some extra restorations which will deal with issues such as climate change.”
The city, he said, expects “more and more storms” similar to the one on Dec. 20, 2018 to hit the community.
“We want to know that we can protect the pier now and in the long-term.”
When it comes to re-opening the promenade, Walker said city staff has done some preliminary work.
“There’s a lot more to be done, and quite frankly, the work is going to take some time to get going.”
Walker said the city hopes to have the promenade, between the pier and the white rock, open by mid- to late-February.
“We literally have to rebuild our shoreline along the promenade,” he said.
After that, he said, the city will plan to prioritize repairing the promenade toward the east to the First Nations land.
As for funding, Walker said the city has been in talks with the provincial and federal governments. The three levels of government will each pay a percentage of the costs, and Walker said the city estimates it will pay somewhere between “10 and 15 per cent of the overall cost.”
Walker also said the city has insurance in place. But what that will cover, Walker said the city isn’t sure yet.
The city’s website also included an overview of what staff did over the holidays to begin repairs as well as hire a marine salvage operator and marine engineers.
On the day of the storm, the city’s website says staff “were on site immediately and continued through the Christmas period, interrupting and/or cancelling their Christmas vacations.” Some of the work staff did included barricading the area; removing debris, including fuel tanks, life jackets and broken boat compenents; contacting BNSF Railway “and developed plans for mutual assistance”; and working with an environmental consultant to develop repair plans.
According to the website, a marine salvage operator was hired “during the initial response on December 20, 2018.” Some of the work the operator does included corralling six floating boats and securing them to the east float, securing boats and removing fuel tanks from the area “wherever possible,” and supplying a small barge and excavator and removing hulls and debris.
“The operator is continuing to remove large debris broken away from the Pier, and will remove boats late next week as the City needed to give written notice to the insurance companies and owners first, which the City has done. The operator also plans to remove the logs near the water and in the vicinity of the White Rock (P’Quals) in a log boom next week,” the city’s website states.
Marine engineers were also hired. The engineers inspected the pier, walking on the sand during the low tide on Dec. 20 and early into the next morning to “assess the situation”; inspected East Beach; and worked with city staff to develop short- and long-term strategies for both East Beach and the pier.
The city’s website also includes a question and answers section.