Vancouver Park Board votes to repair, not demolish wrecked Jericho Pier

Click to play video: 'Jericho Beach pier to be repaired after Vancouver Park Board vote'
Jericho Beach pier to be repaired after Vancouver Park Board vote
WATCH: The Jericho Beach pier will not be demolished after the Vancouver Park Board voted instead to repair it. – Sep 12, 2023

A majority of commissioners on the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation have voted to repair, rather than demolish the wrecked but beloved Jericho Pier.

The decision runs counter to a staff recommendation to destroy it rather than pay the estimated $25-million cost to fix it.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Park Board staff recommend Jericho Pier demolition'
Vancouver Park Board staff recommend Jericho Pier demolition

The pier has been closed to the public since last January when a storm did significant damage to the pier, the Stanley Park seawall and the Kitsilano Pool.

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“Proud to move the motion to rebuild Jericho Pier,” Comm. Angela Haer shared on social media Monday night.

“This beautiful landmark historically and today, has brought together multigenerational memories from fireworks, catching lobsters, fishing, and late-night walks.”

Tom Digby, the sole commissioner with the Vancouver Green Party, is the only one to have voted against the repair, calling the Jericho Pier an “artifact of colonization” and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

“I have not met a group of people who are less prepared for the costs — and consequences — of climate change,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter, referring to the ABC Vancouver majority who propped up the repairs.

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In their report recommending the pier’s deconstruction, municipal staff noted that if repairs are undertaken instead, the structure “will remain susceptible to yearly coastal storm damage” that is likely to result in future closures and patch jobs.

Annual maintenance and repair costs could range anywhere between $100,000 to $2.35 million per year, they estimated.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Park Board recommends removal of Jericho Beach Pier'
Vancouver Park Board recommends removal of Jericho Beach Pier

Work will soon begin to return the pier to its previous service level by 2025.

The park board hopes to fund the repairs through an eventual insurance reimbursement from a claim filed after the storm damage, as well as donations. Any leftover cost will come from the capital plan budget, commissioners affirmed.

The costs of deconstruction, by contrast, would have ranged between $1.3 million and $3.6 million.

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