The BC government has pledged $1 million to help with the reconstruction of the 104-year-old White Rock pier, after it was severely damaged in a wind storm last year.
This decision comes a day after a White Rock community-based volunteer group pledged to help fundraise $2 million to cover the rebuilding project’s shortfall.
The pier’s entire 470-metre-long structure was severely damaged during an intense wind storm last December.
White Rock City Council has approved $17.3 million in total for waterfront and pier repairs to be completed over the next two years.
A $1 million grant from the province is meant to help repair the waterfront structure, which according to a release from the province, is meant to “restore the economic and social heart of the community.”
The iconic White Rock landmark is important to locals in the community and the many tourists who visit.
“The historic White Rock pier is a cultural icon and significant contributor to the local economy, drawing more than one million visitors to the community each year,” said Ravi Kahlon, MLA for Delta North, on behalf of Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Restoring the pier will help local businesses and improve recreational and cultural opportunities for the community.”
The pier was originally built in 1914 as a dock for the coastal steamships that arrived when the Great Northern Railway began operation. Restored nearly 70 years later, the pier is still a customs port of entry for small crafts.
“Last winter’s storm devastated our community, impacting both residents and the local economy alike,” said Darryl Walker, mayor of White Rock. “We are grateful for the provincial grant to help us reconstruct our waterfront and pier and protect our shoreline from the impacts of climate change.”
The committee chair of Friends of the Pier, the White Rock community group that is helping fundraise for the pier’s repairs, applauds the government for the grant.
“This funding sends a strong message that the provincial government recognizes our waterfront and pier is a landmark attraction and vital contributor to the success of our business community and local economy,” said Bob Bezubiak, manager, TD Canada Trust in White Rock, and past chair of the City of White Rock’s economic investment committee
The first phase of repairs, including east beach and immediate pier repairs, are scheduled to begin soon, with completion expected in fall 2019.