White Rock council awarded a major contract Monday evening for the reconstruction of the city’s storm-damaged pier. (Aaron Hinks photo)

$3 million contract awarded for White Rock Pier repair

First phase of reconstruction expected to be complete by July 31

White Rock council awarded a major contract Monday evening for the reconstruction of the city’s iconic pier.

Council endorsed staff’s recommendation to award the project to PPM Civil Constructors (PPMCC) – low bidder at $3,079,740.

Awarding of the contract sets the clock ticking for a schedule of completion of major repairs by July 31, with re-opening of the pier and re-establishment of the telecommunications link projected for Aug. 31.

Engineering and municipal operations director Jim Gordon told council that work could begin as soon as 10 days following Monday’s decision.

Although Coun. David Chesney moved that consideration of the contract be delayed one week for a special council meeting scheduled for April 15, the rest of council voted down the motion and subsequently approved the contract.

Deputy mayor Scott Kristjanson, filling in for vacationing Mayor Darryl Walker, said he saw no need for an extra delay.

“I think we’ve heard loud and clear from residents, and also from businesses on Marine Drive,” he said. “We’ve promised people that this would be done by the end of August.”

The recommendation for PPMCC noted the company scored highest on evaluation criteria, including the proponent’s experience, qualifications, references, proposed work plan, methodology, proposed schedule and price.

The city received a total of five bids after it issued a request for proposal (RFP) March 1. The highest bid came in at $6.5 million.

The project involves installing 66 new steel pipe piles and replacing 15 timber piles; reconstruction of the failed section of the pier with steel piles and precast concrete substructure; installation of timber decking and handrails; and replacing timber piles in select locations.

The contract awarded Monday evening is only for the damaged section of the pier.

“It’s step one of a much larger project to construct the whole pier,” Gordon said.

In answer to a question from Coun. Helen Fathers, financial services director Sandra Kurylo said that the city estimates that as much as $3.1 million of the initial repair work will be paid by the city’s insurance on the pier.

The work, which includes repair and upgrading of approximately 20 per cent of the pier, is also to include the demolition of damaged components and salvage of the timber planks.

A 100-foot section of the pier was destroyed Dec. 20 after a windstorm aligned with heavy rain and a high tide. The pier and western wharf were destroyed and several rows of piles along the pier sustained impact damage, likely from floating debris, the city document states.

“The December storm illustrated the vulnerability of the Pier to storm surges that could potentially occur more frequently due to climate change,” noted a report to council from Gordon.

“The remaining sections of the Pier are vulnerable to damage from future storms. Over 60 truckloads of large logs and debris were removed from the beach following the December storm. The Pier is not constructed to withstand battering of the wooden pile cap and deck structure with logs or other hard debris during storm surges.”

According to the report, the new pier is to be designed to current building codes; meet environmental standards; be protected against earthquakes; be hardened against debris-laden storm surges; and be able to support an ambulance in the event of a medical emergency.

The remainder of the pier, as highlighted in a Jan. 28 city corporate report, is to be upgraded to modern standards over the next two winter seasons, at initial estimates of some $16 million.

“However, if funding is available and senior government approvals are in place, the restoration of the remainder of the Pier could start this fall. It is likely that this work would take approximately one (1) year to complete with a continuous construction schedule. If contract resources are available and permitting allows for two (2) construction crews to work concurrently, the project could potentially be completed sooner,” the report says.

It also outlines a number of project risks and mitigation measures that come with the reconstruction of the damaged section of the pier.

Impacts to visitor parking is one of the risks, according to the city.

The project has allocated eight parking stalls along the south side of the parking lot west of the museum. This area is to be used for site office, safety trailer and equipment storage. The remainder of the parking lot is to be open to the public.

The RFP specifies a marine contractor so materials can arrive by barge, and if crew parking is required, the city will be directing crews to park at Montecito Parkade.

The West Beach Parkade, located at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Vidal Street and is to be open to the public this month, is to increase parking availability.

The contract includes a liquidation damages clause and performance bonus clause to reduce schedule risks. The pier arches have a minimum of 12 weeks’ lead-time, and will be procured in a separate contract.

The city has been in contact with the Semiahmoo First Nation about the project, and an archeological consultant has been retained to prepare an archeological overview assessment.

The pier is located in Semiahmoo Bay, which is part of the Boundary Bay Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and is regulated under the Wildlife Act. Permits are required for construction work within the WMA, the city agenda states.

The city has retained environmental consultant Hatfield Consultants to provide permitting and environmental-monitoring services.

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