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

BC ACORN report calls on Surrey to help renters

Report contains steps on how the City of Surrey can “ease” the city’s housing crisis

First Police Board meeting Thursday a ‘pivotal moment’ in Surrey’s history, mayor says

The 10 a.m. “virtual” meeting Aug. 6 will be live-streamed and details on tuning in will be available at surrey.ca/policeboard

Parking facility for 100 trucks coming to North Surrey at cost of $30M

‘It’s often difficult to find suitable parking for large transport trucks,’ says association boss

Keno machine shutdown was no tech glitch, it was $50K prize for Surrey woman

Ticket checked at the Panorama Shell store in Surrey

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Gangster Jarrod Bacon released from prison for third time

Parole board continues to express concerns about Bacon’s behaviour

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

UPDATE: Man injured in targeted shooting in Maple Ridge

Shots fired from one vehicle into a white Hyundai

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read