While a trip to White Rock is almost never complete without a stroll down the iconic pier, visitors and locals alike are going to have to go without for awhile as the structure is set to undergo some much-needed structural upgrades.
According to Greg St. Louise, director of engineering and municipal operations for the City of White Rock, in order to maintain safety standards, the pier requires 16 of its support posts be replaced or reinforced, and could be closed for as many as 45 days between April and May.
"We'd have 30 days to order (the supplies), then we'd have to close the pier for 45 days to do the work," said St. Louise, during a presentation to council Monday night.
The upgrade's schedule comes before council later than expected, as the city had originally put the project out for tender in January, during which there was no applicants.
"We retendered it in February with a projected completion day in May," said St. Louise.
During the second tender, the city received one applicant, Fraser River Pile and Dredge, which said it was able to do begin in March, following the completion of another job.
While the budget for the project was initially set at $350,000, Fraser River Pile and Dredge determined it would be unable to simply replace the 16 posts, instead opting to wedge the old posts between two new ones. Now, with 32 posts required, the cost of the project has risen by $55,000, which will come from the city's undesignated capital reserve fund, said St. Louise.
Whether or not the project will actually be completed on time is still up in the air though, as the city is currently waiting on the federal government to come through with the $115,000 it promised to the project last fall.
According to St. Louise, if the feds do not come through in time, the city will either have to foot an additional $115,000 itself, or wait until next year to see if it can secure the same funding.
"We're still corresponding (with the federal government)," said St. Louise. "We're not sure when federal budget is going to be approved, but I assume it's tied to that."
Should everything go according to plan, St. Louise hopes to have the upgrades completed before the Victoria Day long weekend in May.