John Preissl reached out to the city after noticing that nails in the newly reconstructed section of White Rock’s pier appear to be rusting. He sent this photo to show how the nails between an older and newer stretch of handrailing compare. (John Preissl photo)

‘Rusty’ nails, bolts on new White Rock pier concern visitor

City confident fasteners ‘will withstand the elements’

The City of White Rock says rust-coloured nails along the reconstructed section of its iconic pier are not a cause for concern.

However, the contractor behind the work has been asked “to return to the pier to do some on-site testing of the nails in the near future,” city communications manager Donna Kell confirmed this week.

In an email responding to inquiries by Peace Arch News – prompted by concerns raised by Burnaby resident John Preissl – Kell described the city’s follow-up request as “an added precaution.”

“City engineers are satisfied that the nails are of a high quality and will withstand the elements,” she said.

The city’s pier reopened to the public in August, following repairs prompted by damage sustained in a violent windstorm last December. A $3.07 million contract for the phase-one work was awarded in April to PPM Civil Constructors.

READ MORE: VIDEO: White Rock pier destroyed by storm, stranded man rescued

READ MORE: $3 million contract awarded for White Rock Pier repair

Preissl – who remembers windsurfing off of White Rock beach as a teenager, and in more recent years is often quoted in news coverage regarding environmental impacts of the Trans Mountain pipeline – first alerted city staff, council and PAN to his concerns about the nails on Oct. 17, after checking out the rebuild during a visit three days earlier.

In an Oct. 18 response, city director of engineering and municipal operations Jim Gordon told Preissl that specifications for the work called for galvanized nails, and that the city would follow up with the designer/inspector and contractor to “verify the paper trail for the installed product.”

“We are also directing that a few of the nails be extracted and tested for coating,” Gordon wrote.

Preissl meanwhile returned to the structure at least two more times, including on Wednesday (Oct. 23), for a closer look; sought second opinions from friends who work as contractors; and documented his concerns photographically.

The closer he looked, he said, the more his concerns grew.

Wednesday, in addition to showing PAN the nails that caught his attention, he pointed out rust-coloured ends of bolts that have been cut down and used in securing both the pipeline that runs the length of the pier and the vertical posts of the handrail. As well, he expressed concern that the handrailing is inadequately secured at many points, and demonstrated his point by showing it could be lifted in some areas high enough to slide a cellphone in the gap.

“They should definitely have a lot more nails down there,” he said. “It should be tight.”

The rust, Preissl said, indicates the fasteners’ galvanization has been compromised.

Contacted Wednesday, a PPM project manager deferred questions to Kell.

Kell told PAN that while it’s understandable that someone might question the rust colour, for the nails, at least, it is simply the galvanization.

“It’s the nails themselves that are that colour. They haven’t changed colour,” she said Thursday.

Kell said she has shared photos of the bolts and Preissl’s other areas of concern with the city’s engineering staff to obtain further opinion on those matters.

Preissl said he’s been impressed with the city’s quick response, but that “there’s no excuse” for the deficiencies he’s identified – which also include tripping hazards among the planks and the use of a spacer to fill the gap above a beam that appears to have been cut too short. He said he’s “100 per cent” certain the fasteners’ galvanization is either compromised or non-existent, and predicted if they aren’t replaced, “mark my words, we come back in a few months, this will be really bad.”

“There is a ton at stake here for all parties involved,” he said. “Something is not right here.”

Kell said the city “will check into any reported deficiency and is committed to ensuring the pier is a safe place for residents and visitors to enjoy.”



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

John Preissl reached out to the city after noticing that nails in the newly reconstructed section of White Rock’s pier appear to be rusting. He sent this photo to show how the nails between an older and newer stretch of handrailing compare. (John Preissl photo)

A bolt in the pier’s new timber appears to show signs of rust Wednesday. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Bolts along the new steel pipeline that runs along the pier are a rust colour. (Tracy Holmes photo)

John Preissl documents the space in the pier’s handrailing. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 has exacerbated the drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Surrey, White Rock officials say isolation, CERB, contributing to crisis

Pubs accused of ‘negligently’ serving alcohol before Surrey traffic crash

The case concerns an Aug. 2, 2015 single-vehicle crash

Surrey mayor says Newton needs more recreation facilities

Surrey council has approved the “Stage 2 Final Report” of the Newton Town Centre Plan

Surrey city staff hears restricting recovery homes to six clients won’t cut it

Corporate report notes there are more recovery homes in Surrey than in every other community in B.C. combined

Gravestones repaired at Surrey Centre Cemetery

Restoration now complete on seven pioneer grave markers vandalized in April

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Missing Fraser Valley man’s car found in Harrison

Michael Denham has been missing since June 27

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Most Read

l -->