Storm 2018 Waterfront Restoration

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On Thursday, December 20, 2018, a devastating windstorm swept through the City of White Rock that resulted in extensive damage to the Pier, waterfront and boats along the marina.  BC Hydro reported it to be the most damaging in the Crown utility’s history.

We understand the significant value that the Promenade, waterfront and Pier bring to our community.

We thank our residents, businesses, and visitors for their understanding and patience while the City and BNSF Railway staff continue to perform major clean up work along East and West Beach including the Promenade. 

PLEASE NOTE: As this work is being carried out, it is very important that the public continue to respect the signage and keep a distance away from the waterfront, Promenade and Pier so that City staff, contractors and BNSF Railway crews can perform their work safely, efficiently, and expeditiously.


MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR OF WHITE ROCK

Video message from Mayor Walker on January 4, 2019.

RESTORATION SCHEDULE


At the January 28, 2019 Regular Council meeting, Council endorsed the repair schedule and strategies presented in the Corporate report titled "Pier and East Beach Storm Repair Schedule and Repair Strategies" which can be found on page 29 of the Council Agenda.

Scheduled Dates:

  • Early February - Tree Lights West of Museum re-installed
  • February 7 - Promenade West of the White Rock to re-open
  • April 30 - East Beach to re-open

The storm of December 20, 2018 severely damaged the White Rock Pier and East Beach. Also, logs, sunken boats and marine debris littered the shoreline near the white rock and Pier and damage was caused to the tree lights along the entire waterfront. Outlined above are the proposed opening dates. More information can be found in the Corporate report "Pier and East Beach Storm Repair Schedule and Repair Strategies" on page 29 of the Council Agenda.



waterfront devastation


WEST BEACH PROMENADE


The City of White Rock is pleased to inform residents, businesses, and visitors that the Promenade, West of the White Rock (referred to by First Nations as P’Quals) will be open to the public by 12:00pm on Thursday, February 7, 2019.

The City’s Engineering and Operations department, along with contractors and clean up partners like BNSF Railway, collectively moved over 500 tons of logs and garbage. Hazardous materials such as fuel tanks, batteries, metal fragments, and boat components were also removed.

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IMMEDIATE ACTION


City staff were on site immediately on December 20, 2018 and accomplished:

  • Barricading areas in the interest of public safety.
  • Opened an emergency reception centre for residents displaced due to the impact the storm had on their homes, which resulted in them being evacuated. 
  • Removed debris from the waterfront, including fuel tanks, life jackets and broken boat components.
  • Contacted BNSF Railway and developed plans for mutual assistance.
  • Worked with the Environmental consultant to develop repair plans and directed the Marine Salvage operator throughout the Christmas period.

City staff continue to oversee the coordination of all repairs and approvals and are working diligently to reopen the waterfront.

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WATERFRONT DEVASTATION


The iconic White Rock Pier is extensively damaged along its length, not just at the break location. The Pier will be closed indefinitely.

We are asking people to respect the barricades, signage and caution tape as they are there for your own good and safety. 

* Please note the photos provided have been taken by City Staff or Contractors. The credited photos were taken with a drone. Do not cross the barricades that are in place.*

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MEDIA COVERAGE

The City of White Rock held a press conference with Mayor Darryl Walker and White Rock fire Chief Phil Lemire to update media on the situation in the City following the severe wind storm on December 20, 2018. 

News outlets Global BC, News 1130, CKNW, City TV, Vancouver Sun, Peace Arch News and more were present.

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ADVOCACY

On January 17, 2019, Mayor Walker met with South Surrey-White Rock MP Gordon Hogg and B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Selina Robinson, to discuss potential funding opportunities in regards to the Pier reconstruction and shoreline protection needs of the City.

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EAST BEACH RESTORATION


The City of White Rock has started work on the restoration of East beach and log removal.

Large logs and wood debris have been moved from the shore line along East beach to the White Rock (P’Quals).

BNSF Railway assisted with the restoration by supplying a work train to remove the logs that were cleaned up from the shore line.

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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS


Question: Is the Pier covered by insurance and when will it be fixed?

Answer: The Pier is insured and we are working with our insurance broker to confirm coverage under the circumstances. Our discussions have been positive and the City believes that some of the Pier costs will be covered by our policy.

Total reconstruction of the missing and “hanging” sections are needed immediately. Extensive repairs to piles, pile caps, stringers, decking, conduits, arches and lights is required throughout the length of the Pier.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans environmental limitation on work in the water after February 28 (Fisheries Window) is a critical path element in the Pier restoration. The City has submitted a request to extend the Fisheries Window. Without the extension, it will be challenging to construct the immediate necessary repairs this year due to the Fisheries Window. And, reconstruction of the remainder of the Pier to a modern standard will need to be scheduled for subsequent winter construction seasons unless the Fisheries Window can be extended.

For more information, please refer to the January 28, 2019 Corporate Report: "Pier and East Beach Storm Repair Schedule and Repair Strategies" (page 29 - 66).

Question: When will the Promenade be opened to the public? 

For safety reasons, access to the Promenade west of the White Rock was restricted following the storm. Storm debris along the beach and adjacent to the Pier presented potential hazards to the public. Logs and heavy debris were removed from those areas. Repairs to the walkway are underway. Currently, the Recreation and Culture Department are working on organizing a community cleanup to remove this debris late in the week of February 4, 2019. Once all the debris is removed and the Pier structure is stabilized, access to the public will be restored.

For more information, please refer to the January 28, 2019 Corporate Report: "Pier and East Beach Storm Repair Schedule and Repair Strategies" (page 29 - 66).

Question: When will East Beach be opened to the public?

Answer: The Promenade suffered significant damage. The work plan to restore the Promenade include repairs to the walkway where erosion has occurred and the electrical and irrigation conduits. Log removal is one of the key issues to reopening this area. We have already received environmental approvals to have our excavator operate on the beach and are using contractors to use log booms to remove logs between the White Rock (P’Quals) and the Pier.

Once the logs have been removed from the Promenade and the beach, we will begin the work of repairing the erosion on the shoreline. The erosion is extensive. We are working with BNSF Railway to have large rocks delivered by rail car to East Beach. The rail car will unload these large rocks onto the Promenade, and from there, the rocks will be placed at the shoreline as riprap (rock armour) in order to armour and protect the East Beach shoreline. We expect to open East Beach at the end of April. 

For more information, please refer to the January 28, 2019 Corporate Report: "Pier and East Beach Storm Repair Schedule and Repair Strategies" (page 29 - 66).

Question: What is the cost of repairing the Pier and when will it be rebuilt?

Answer: The cost estimates, which do not include all components, are $11.1 million for the steel pile and concrete deck option and $9.2 million  for the timber pile and deck option. When components such as the west float, seismic ground improvement (if needed), design and construction management, environmental/regulatory costs, arches/electrical/lighting, debris clean-up, and PST are added, the full cost estimates are in the range of $16.2 million for the steel pile and concrete deck option, and $14.1 million for the timber pile and deck option. 

Pier Budget Cost Estimates

These figures are preliminary and based on information known to date. For example, at this time, the estimates include $3 million for seismic ground improvement, and until more testing is done, the extent of work needed is not known. In addition, although an estimate of $600,000 has been included for the west wharf ($400,000 for timber option), there may be additional costs involved with re-establishing the marina, as this has not yet been fully examined.

The Pier is insured for approximately $7 million and depending on the details of the policy and cost components, it is understood that more or less than that may be recoverable through the policy. More information will be available once the City’s insurers complete their review. The amount not covered by insurance will need to be financed by other funding sources, such as grants and/or other City funds. A rough cost estimate for the clean-up, restoration of East Beach is $600,000, and this cost is not covered by insurance. Other City funding sources will be required. 

Currently, these costs are not included in the City’s approved Financial Plan. At this time, depending on which option is pursued, it may be challenging to identify sufficient internal funding sources without having significant impacts. More time and information from the City’s insurers is needed before this can be confirmed. It is planned that recommended amendments to the Financial Plan will be presented to Council at its meeting on February 11, 2019. As well, in order to secure more external funding, the City submitted an application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program -Community, Culture and Recreation grant application on January 23, 2019, which was the deadline for program applications.

For more information, please refer to the January 28, 2019 Corporate Report: "Pier and East Beach Storm Repair Schedule and Repair Strategies" (page 29 - 66). You will find

Question: Has the City reached out to the Government of Canada and/or Government of British Columbia about potential grant opportunities?  

Answer: The Mayor and City staff have connected with the federal and provincial governments regarding funding options. As well, the City has submitted an application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – British Columbia grant program. The City will also seek grant funding assistance through the Disaster Financial Assistance Fund.