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West Vancouver's smashed piers to be repaired this summer

Residents and visitors have been waiting a long, long time to get their beloved piers back.

After almost a year and a half of closures, work will soon begin to repair and reopen Ambleside and Dundarave’s public piers.

Both were thrashed badly in a January, 2022 storm and king tide, leaving them unsafe for visitors.

At Ambleside, one of the pier’s pilings was completely knocked out, causing the decking above to sink. It will have to be made structurally sound again and the pier will have the deck replaced and lighting repaired. The pier’s railings were nearing the end of their useful lives already, so they too will be replaced.

“It’s going to look beautiful,” said Jill Lawler, acting senior manager of parks for the District of West Vancouver.

The Dundarave Pier also suffered structural damage in the storm, thanks to the power of the water hitting the boulders that rest alongside it.

“The waves were so strong that they were able to lift up one of those rocks that came smashing down and shattered one of the concrete slabs,” Lawler said.

That slab will now be replaced, while the original float and gangway will be repaired. Dundarave too will have new railings installed.

It took almost six months of discussions with the municipality’s insurers before the district announced last summer that most of the costs – $600,000 of the $775,000 total budget – would be covered.

Since then, they’ve done detailed assessments and repair designs, secured contractors through an open bid process, dealt with supply chain issues and received the required permits for working on the foreshore.

The job should begin by mid-June, with targeted reopening dates in the fall, according to the district.

“And we are very excited to make that happen,” Lawler said. “Summer is the best time to complete the work as we have better weather, tides and light.”

Lawler acknowledged the strong desire, both from the public and from the district, to get the beloved piers back online.

“We look forward to hosting our events back on the piers and celebrating as we have done in the past,” she said. “They are our two feature piers in our community and they’re beautiful and the waterfront is so busy in the summer. Yes, they are greatly missed and desperately in need.”