White Rock’s mayor says repairs to the city’s iconic pier likely won’t be completed until late-August.
In a video update, Darryl Walker also said the city hopes to have the waterfront promenade stretching from the pier to the white rock that gives the community its name completed by mid- to late February.
“On the issue of opening up the promenade and starting work on the pier, we’ve done some preliminary studies and there’s a lot more to be done. Quite frankly the work is going to take us some time to get going,” said Walker.
White Rock’s pier collapsed partially during the powerful Dec. 20 windstorm that left more than 700,000 people without power, and which BC Hydro says was the worst in the province’s history.
In the update Friday, Walker acknowledged the repair timeline would be frustrating for local businesses, but said the city was working as hard as it could.
WATCH: Dramatic escape from collapsed White Rock pier
“I will tell you right now that the pier will be replaced, and we will start working on it as soon as we possibly can. We hope to have something up and running and an opening for the pier sometime in the latter part of August,” Walker said.
“I know it seems like a long time away, and I know it’s going to be very difficult especially for the business owners on Marine Drive to hear this news, a summer, another summer where they’re going to have difficult time getting by.”
He said the city will be looking at ways it can host events in the area to draw people and support local restaurants.
Walker said the city estimates the pier repairs will cost somewhere in the range of $5 million to $6 million, and that White Rock was looking at ways the restoration could help protect against future storm damage and climate change.
WATCH: People continue to ignore warnings to stay away from damaged White Rock pier
He said the city has been ensured that it does have insurance in place, but it remains unclear how much that policy would pay out.
White Rock is also in talks with the province and federal government about grants for the repairs, and he said the city itself may end up responsible for paying 10 to 15 per cent of the total repair bill.
The mayor also urged people to stay away from the storm-damaged areas of the beach, including the promenade, which he said remain unsafe.
“There are still boats that are jammed underneath pilings on the pier making it dangerous not only to be anywhere near the pier but also on the shoreline down there,” he said.
“These are large vessels that could move at any time and cause damage. It’s our intention to have them out of there as quick as possible, hopefully within the next week.”
A fundraising campaign by a group of local White Rock teens has so far raised about $1,500 towards repairing the pier.