Repairing White Rock Pier could cost $16M, report estimates
A new report suggests repairing the storm-damaged White Rock Pier will cost a lot more than originally forecast.
Reconstructing the pier using steel pilings and a concrete deck would run $16.2 million, according to an estimate submitted to the city by engineering firm Westmar Advisors.
The firm suggested using timber for the pilings and deck would cost slightly less, at $14.1 million.
Those estimates include potential seismic improvements, debris clean-up, arches, lighting, provincial sales taxes on materials and other expenses.
Tyler Murphy and Catlyn Beaudette, who both live in White Rock and work along the waterfront, found the number surprising.
“I kind of laughed a little bit,” said Beaudette.
“Who’s going to pay for it?” Murphy added. “I don’t know.”
Greg Sims from South Surrey, who walks the stretch of waterfront at least three to four times a week, was more blunt.
“I sort of gagged a little bit,” he said, adding that “I guess my first question is, why is there only one estimate?”
CTV put that question to White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker, who back on Jan. 4 estimated it would only cost between $5 million and $6 million to restore the century-old icon.
“I don’t have an answer for you right now,” Walker said, but suggested that the firm,Westmar Advisors, was one of the most reputable for this type of project. “We will look at other options, I think.”
The mayor added that the new estimates caught him off guard, and he’s concerned the price tag could climb even higher.
According to the city engineering report that will be presented to council on Monday, the White Rock Pier is insured for about $7 million.
Walker says the remainder will likely have to be covered by city reserves, the province and Ottawa. Just last week he led both federal and provincial officials on a tour where they walked on a portion of the damaged pier.
“I think at times [my] stomach felt a little bit queasy to see all the damage that was done,” Walker said.
The pier split in two after being pummelled by violent waves and flailing boats that broke off a marina at its tip. Officials said about 30 metres of the walkway collapsed into the water.
Along the shoreline, the wrecked hulls from several boats have finally been removed, and a key section of the promenade, which has been off-limits since the windstorm, is set to reopen on Feb. 9. The report sets Aug. 31 as the goal to reopen the pier.
For locals like Tyler Murphy and Catlyn Beaudette, who say they’ve seen a slowdown at local businesses, restoring the pier remains a priority.
“You think of White Rock, you think of the pier,” Murphy said. “Take it away, no one wants to come down.”
Beaudette added: “I hope it gets done before the end of summer, that’s all I can say.”