A city staff warning that visitors to White Rock Pier risk “severe personal injury” is overstated

Pier counsel deserves a rethink


Re: White Rock feels pier pressure, Sept. 22.

Something is seriously wrong here.


Re: White Rock feels pier pressure, Sept. 22.

Something is seriously wrong here.

I’ve looked into this a little deeper and I now have more facts to base my comments and opinion upon.

There are 14 light posts on the pier. They are constructed of painted iron or steel, and are showing varying degrees of deterioration, with the damage predominately near the base. The posts furthest out are substantially worse than the ones close to shore. The other post and the arch associated with each light standard are unpainted galvanized steel and were added relatively recently – they are in excellent condition.

A few minutes on the Internet determined that commercial grade 16-foot lamp posts with lights are available in a range of materials, styles, and colours, for between $700 and $2,000 for the very fanciest.

For the harsh marine environment at the pier, fibreglass and powder-coated aluminum are available and probably the best choice.

What would it take to replace them, labour-wise?

Turn off the power, disconnect three wires, remove four lag bolts, remove the upper strap and remove the old light post. Installation would be reverse procedure.

I estimate it could be easily done in four man-hours each. Two guys with the proper equipment and skill should be able to change all 14 in less than four days.

So how much should this job cost?  Let’s say we buy 14 of the more expensive lamps at $1,500 each – that’s $21,000. And these guys replacing them – assuming the city workers are too busy – they get paid $80 an hour each. That should be less than $5,000. Let’s be generous and throw in 20 per cent for miscellaneous; you should be able to complete whole job quickly for around $30K or less, using superior materials.

White Rock taxpayers, demand to know why this could possibly cost over $400,000.

On a related point, I just came from the pier this morning, where winds were blowing at 80 km/h. I was not alone; dozens of others were traversing the pier for their morning walk. If there was a risk of  “severe personal injury to those visiting White Rock Pier,” would the city allow the pier to remain open? I don’t think so.

This is nothing more than scaremongering to oversell an inflated and possibly unnecessary expenditure.

What are some other less expensive solutions?

First, people enjoyed the pier for decades without lights; they are not essential. The imagined electrocution hazard could be eliminated simply by disconnecting the power supply – a flick of a switch.

Although the danger of a lamp standard toppling and injuring someone is probably less likely than getting hit by a re-entering satellite, that risk could be eliminated by attaching a third safety attachment to each unit, or they could be simply removed. Total cost $1,000-3,000.

Geo Heath, Surrey

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