WHITE ROCK (NEWS 1130) — A fundraising campaign has been launched to help rebuild White Rock’s popular pier, so it can re-open in August.
Replacing the wooden deck with concrete and steel is expected to cost as much as $16-million, so a new community group called Friends of the Pier is trying to raise $2-million.
Janet Wait, who owns Jan’s on the Beach restaurant, is pleased the landmark is slated to re-open before Labour Day.
“Having it done for August would be great. It takes time to get everything done and it sounds like they have to upgrade it to today’s standards. You know, the fundraising, we’ll of course be involved in that. It is a community effort. Everybody chips in to help where we all can.”
She adds business hasn’t been bad because many people have been coming to the area to check out the damage.
“It’s actually become an attraction. People come to see just how badly the pier has been broken and there are some days when it’s nice and sunny out, they’re all in front of the pier looking around on the sands down below and it’s like, ‘Wow! This is really big. What kind of force did it to take to break it that badly?”
The 104-year-old pier was cut in half thanks to a hurricane force storm in December (20th) that sent boats crashing into it and one man had to be rescued by helicopter.
WATCH: Interim repairs set to begin on iconic White Rock Pier
Angela Gregory with the Pamper Me day spa says she’s watched storms get worse over the past 36 years.
“The roof came off this building. It’s a landmark, but it needs to be safe, so however long it takes, is fine with me.”
She adds her business hasn’t suffered, but others have been hurt by a loss of parking in the area as repair work continues.
Meanwhile, volunteers are coordinating various activities and accepting donations with support from the Semiahmoo Rotary which is issuing charitable tax receipts.
Other members of the group include the South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce, White Rock Business Improvement Association and White Rock Museum.
-With files from Monika Gul