Following news earlier in the day that completion of the Edmonds Fishing Pier Rehabilitation Project will take longer than expected due to “poor quality original construction,” the Edmonds City Council learned at its Tuesday night meeting that it will cost nearly $400,000 more than was budgeted to complete the work.
The main focus of the project was to repair the underlying support beams, which were showing significant rust and oxidation. But when the contractors began work, they discovered unanticipated significant damage, City Engineer Rob English told the council.
“At the time the pier was constructed in the ’70s, the joint between the pre-cast section and the cast-in-place section wasn’t properly prepared,” English explained. “It wasn’t roughened and was more or less a flat surface that allowed water intrusion within that particular joint.” English said. As a result, the intruding water has corroded the joint, requiring extensive repairs.
The city earlier Tuesday said the project — which was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of June — would continue “through mid-summer,” but the contractor is still working on a timeline for exactly how long it will take to complete the repairs, English said.
A testing program using corrosion mapping has determined that over 90 percent of the pier structure beyond the breakwater requires reconstruction of the concrete edges and railing supports. New galvanic anodes will be installed along the pier edges and center joint to prevent further rebar corrosion in the future.
The pier is owned by the State Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the city has been partnering with them on the rehabilitation project, said Edmonds Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director Carrie Hite. Fish and Wildlife representatives visited the pier Tuesday to take a look at the problem, she added.
It’s unclear at this point where the additional money will come from to fund the repairs.
“Fish and Wildlife didn’t have a magic bullet,” Hite said, noting that pulling $400,000 from another budget in Olympia is going to take legislative action and the state Legislature isn’t currently in session. “We’re working on it diligently,” she said. Officials are also exploring the idea of an interfund loan that would provide funds temporarily until the Legislature is back in session.
“If they (Fish and Wildlife) can’t come up with the money, then they would likely suggest that we close the pier until we can find the money,” she said.
Councilmember Neil Tibbott asked how durable the project will be once it is repaired, especially in light of the fact that the state is hoping the city will eventually take ownership of the pier and handle future maintenance and repair costs.
The fix recommended by structural engineers is estimated to give the pier “another 40 years of life,” replied Public Works Director Phil Williams. “It’s been there 38 years or so now.”
Whether the city actually will assume ownership of the pier, located north of the Port of Edmonds Marina, is a question that the council and mayor will eventually need to discuss, Hite added.
Councilmember Dave Teitzel asked if it was possible that the original contractor could be held financially liable for the poor quality work on the pier.
“My best guess is that contractor doesn’t exist any more,” replied City Attorney Jeff Taraday. “Probably a long shot.”
Added Williams: “Fish and Wildlife I think has about 40 of these piers throughout Puget Sound so this has really gotten their attention. And I think they were all built by the same contractor.”
In other action, the council also:
– Heard a proclamation for 2016 National Police Week. The public is invited to the annual police awards ceremony at 6 p.m. this Thursday, May 19 in the Council Chambers, 250 5th Ave. N.
– Listened to the Edmonds Arts Commission Annual Report for 2015 and Update on Community Cultural Plan implementation
– Held a public hearing on right-of-way vacation at Civic Park play fields. The city recently acquired the Civic Field property from the Edmonds School District, and the property includes two streets and an alley. The street vacation, which has been discussed at previous council meetings, is being considered because the city intends to continue to use the Civic Playfields property as a park. As a result, it unlikely that the two streets and the alley will ever be developed for transportation purposes. Two citizens — Ken Reidy and Finis Tupper — offered testimony questioning whether the council should make such a decision. An ordinance will be brought back for consideration at a future council meeting.
– By a 7-0 vote authorized Mayor Dave Earling to enter into a professional services agreement with consultant Walker Macy for the Civic Center Field Master Plan. After some discussion, the council decided not to have Walker Macy for an additional $10,980 conduct an historical analysis of the site as part of the plan — at least for now — and instead will ask the city’s Historic Preservation Commission to oversee that work. The council also discussed the need for a structural analysis of the aging wooden grandstands that currently sit on the Civic Field property. Public Works Director Williams said that staff is planning to do such an analysis and would keep the council informed of any findings that indicate the grandstands are unsafe to use prior to Edmonds’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show.
– Authorized the city to contract with James G. Murphy to sell surplus city equipment.