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

Lotto winner Erwin Espiritu. (submitted photo: BCLC media relations)
$1M lotto surprise for Surrey dad buying takeout food for son’s birthday

‘When I went to show my son, he said that there was six zeros on the screen, not three’

Pumpkins outside Malvinder Gill’s farm on 152nd Street in Surrey. (submitted photo: Sarah Wilson)
At Surrey farm, free pumpkins for donation to food bank

‘Amazing for the community, especially during the pandemic,’ says one local resident

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Six Surrey schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Delview Thanks4Giving committee members Alexa Liptak (left) and Amanda Quibing stand with the donation box outside the school’s front entrance. (James Smith photo)
Thanks 4 Giving food drive going drive-thru due to COVID-19

Organizers hope North Delta residents will come to them for Delview Secondary’s annual food drive

A new 23-storey condo development – which might also house a new White Rock city hall space – is proposed for the current site of 3 Dogs Brewing on Johnston Road, and will be discussed by the Land Use and Planning committee on Oct. 26. (File photo)
Civic centre could be part of new 23-storey White Rock condo tower

Development proposal to be discussed Oct. 26 by council’s land use committee

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read