July 31, 2019 8:10 pm
Updated: August 1, 2019 12:34 am

White Rock mayor says pier on track to reopen by end of August

WATCH: Just eight months after it was destroyed by a powerful windstorm, the White Rock pier is scheduled to re-open in August. Jill Bennett reports.

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The mayor of White Rock is confident his city’s most iconic landmark, the White Rock pier, is on track to reopen to the public by the end of August.

“We have been working on this for probably six months or longer,” Darryl Walker said on Global News Morning BC Wednesday.

“We can see the end of the trail now.”

WATCH: White Rock mayor says pier will reopen by end of August

A 30-metre section of the pier was destroyed by a devastating windstorm on Dec. 20, 2018 that sent sailboats crashing through the centre of the popular tourist destination.

Crews have been hard at work ever since to repair the damaged section by Aug. 31 to allow people back on the pier before a full rebuilding gets underway.

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In a report presented to city council on July 22, acting engineering and municipal operations director Rosaline Choy also expressed confidence in reaching that date.

READ MORE: Facing a $2-million shortfall, White Rock pier repairs to be covered by fundraising efforts

That’s despite a delay in delivering new timber planks that are custom built to be strong enough to support ambulances and other emergency vehicles.

“The supply and delivery of these timber planks has longer lead times than anticipated,” the report reads, adding the planks are expected to be delivered by mid-August and take a week to install.

“Therefore, the anticipated [completion date]” is Aug. 30, Choy wrote.

READ MORE: White Rock city council awards contract for interim repairs to iconic pier

The cost of the repairs on the damaged section is estimated to be just over $3 million, according to the report, along with an additional $56,579 to cover changes to the project.

While the pier itself is expected to reopen on Aug. 31, the iconic pier arches and light fixtures along the pier won’t be replaced until late October, after the city had trouble securing a contractor for the work.

Full rebuild plan

Walker noted the rebuilding of the damaged section is only the first phase of a plan to replace the entire pier, which the city is still raising money for.

“The second piece will probably be in excess of another $11 [million],” the mayor said, which the city is hoping to cover partly through provincial and federal grants.

WATCH: (Aired May 2) New fundraising campaign to rebuild White Rock pier

A remaining $2 million is expected to be covered by various fundraising efforts spearheaded by Friends of the Pier, a group led by local TD Bank manager Bob Bezubiak.

One of the efforts gives people a chance to buy original planks that were salvaged from the damaged section of the pier, which can be owned at the cost of $1,000 each.

Those original planks will help make up the replaced pier, which will be built to withstand rising sea levels and a greater likelihood of storm surges.

READ MORE: White Rock pier repair costs could triple: report

“We have about 1,300 [of these planks] left to sell, so we know this is going to be a bit of a long project for us,” Bezubiak said.

No timeline has been set for when the replacement project will be completed, with the city and Bezubiak citing the ongoing need for funding.

The city said it had nothing further to add to Walker’s comments Wednesday.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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