White Rock pier repair will likely take months, cost millions – mayor

City staff say it’s too early to assess the full extent of storm damage

Repairing and restoring White Rock’s iconic pier – now in two segments following Thursday afternoon’s vicious windstorm – will likely take months and cost millions, according to Mayor Darryl Walker and city Fire Chief Phil Lemire.

Speaking at a media conference Friday morning at the city’s Pacific Avenue Fire Hall, both Walker and Lemire said it was far too early to assess accurate figures for the repair or commit to a timeline for the pier repair, although Walker said it will likely take months.

“(The cost) will probably be in the millions,” Walker said. “It’s very easy for projects these days to run to that kind of money.”

Lemire said the city is still “triaging” the city to judge the full extent of storm damage, which also included fallen trees and branches, downed power lines, ruptured gas lines and a promenade littered with logs, concrete benches and other debris.

“It’s a step-by-step process, going through the city, identifying situations we may not have been aware of.”

And both reiterated the importance of residents respecting taped and barricaded off areas.

“They’re there for your safety, but also to protect the safety of first responders,” Lemire said.

“We’re asking people to be responsible and understand what the dangers are,” said Walker, adding while that he realizes that many going down to waterfront are being driven by curiosity, they should be patient while city crews and emergency personnel continue to do their work.

“Our pier will be restored,” he assured residents. “We understand your need to see things, but you need to be safe.”

Lemire said that an approximately 100-foot-long section of the pier had been washed away, while a floating dock was still tethered to it by one end but had wound up wedged against the pier.

But he said that all of the pier will have to be assessed for damage, to identify whether there are as yet unknown problems with the structural integrity.

Walker said the city will also study how events played out, whether risks to the pier were adequately identified and whether mistakes were made that could be rectified in future.

“We’ve spoken already with the provincial and federal governments, letting them know the situation, and hoping there will be some kind of assistance they can offer us.”

Walker acknowledged that pier repair and clean-up will have an impact on business on the waterfront and said he would be visiting businesses personally to explain the situation.

“Of all the times to have something like this happen, Christmas is the worst,” he said. “But we will still help our businesses wherever we can.”

Walker told Peace Arch News after the conference that he also wanted to acknowledge the hard work of city staff mitigate the effects of the storm and protect residents throughout the afternoon and on into the night.

“And then a lot of these people got up this morning and got on with what they usually do,” he said.

Walker noted the storm had struck many communities in the region, at some tragic cost of life.

“The pier is just a piece of property,” he noted. “We’ve lost something important to us, but we haven’t lost any lives and we can thank our lucky stars for that,” he said.

Meanwhile White Rock Youth Ambassadors, headed by 2018 princess and friendship ambassador Emma-Rose Harvey, have established a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to help repair the pier.

To contribute, and for more information, visit https://www.gofundme.com/rebuild-the-historic-white-rock-pier

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction underway for new Cloverdale elementary school

The $33 million school is to seat 655 students

George Garrett retires from Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society board

Society completes more than 58,000 trips since 2016

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

Delta McDonald’s temporarily closed after employees test positive for COVID-19

Two employees at the Annacis Island location (1285 Cliveden Ave.) reported testing positive on Sept. 18

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Most Read