Update: Edmonds Fishing Pier repairs to cost nearly $400K

The Edmonds Fishing Pier budget with estimated additional project costs as displayed at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

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.

From Wes Carson, the Edmonds Fishing Pier is a popular location for crabbers.
From Wes Carson, the fishing pier is a popular location for crabbers.

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.


9 Replies to “Update: Edmonds Fishing Pier repairs to cost nearly $400K”

  1. The overrun on ‘Management’ seem excessive ($411,447). Didn’t the original construction contract include management? It is almost the same amount as the additional construction required. So the Pier may be closed permanently because of excessive management?


    1. I think there is a basic misunderstanding at work here concerning the data presented in the picture. The top sum shows all funding available today for the project. The bottom sum consists of the original bid amount of just over $1 million. Management reserve started with the project at $100,000 and remains the same. This sum is ordinarily intended to cover the cost of change orders, so if there are additional changes needed beyond these new pieces for edges and supports, then it will come into play to address those items. I think it is wise for the City not to abandon keeping this reserve available at this amount. It is still relatively early and if it is not needed it will not be spent anyway.

      I can see that engineering construction phase costs have grown from the original contract with BergerABAM by $38,000, and this is understandable with a large increase in project scope that requires more engineering time to design the solution for the contractor to follow, as well as more time for site visits. The construction management cost has no doubt increased as well from the original amount because of the discovery, but the fact of the matter is that it was already included in the original project and is not all due to this increase of scope. This category of expense is meant to cover the ‘soft costs’ incurred by the project outside of design and contractor work, so that means permit fees, engagement of a testing firm to ensure quality masonry work by inspection and sample analysis, assistance with day-to-day on-site project observation, etc., are all part of what is behind this number.

      As launched in February, the project was going to stay well within the available funding sum of $1,590,000. The real and driving difference now is that there is a change order pending with a value of $424,525 that has boosted the estimated costs for the work up to $1,978,490. It is definitely not excessive management.

      In a perfect world, these conditions would have been discovered in the process of design, but folks should understand that the primary focus was on the underside structure of the pier to address spall damage that was apparent from the water. The City even investigated the columns supporting the pier beneath the water using an engineering dive team. The pier edges were not the focus, nor were they easily observable until the railings were removed. This pier has been in one of the most demanding environments on earth (marine) for the best part of 40 years and has never received comprehensive attention to its structural integrity until now. Imagine what a home would need after that same period of time had passed without significant work.

      I am certain City staff is hot on the trail of finding the funding to complete this project and re-open this wonderful amenity to the public as soon as possible.


      1. I don’t think this explains the $311,447 of ‘Estimated Construction Mgmt Cost’ that were not part of the original contract. How many hours of Management is that?


      2. The $100,000 Management Reserve would appear to originally be included for changes like the one they’re processing now. Why would the reserve be used up by this process? If there are additional changes anticipated then there should be a construction reserve also. I suggest deleting the Management Reserve as having been used-up.


  2. The pier is one of Edmonds’ unique attractions and many of us use it. Could we raise at least part of the cost of rebuilding by some kind of public subscription, perhaps like the tiles at the Public Market, where for a donation of a set amount, your name was placed on a tile? That idea aside, I, for one, would be happy to donate in order to be able to use the pier again. Perhaps a fund-raising committee could come up with funding activities and spearhead finding public support?

    Edmonds is growing because it is such a lovely place to live. Losing the pier would be a very unfortunate setback.


  3. Those “reserve” amounts look (and pardon the pun) a bit fishy. If you can’t properly estimate management costs, maybe you have the wrong mangers.


  4. I have to agree with Teresa that the trail of information here is unfortunately complicated, so I will work to answer all three replies by Mr. VanHee at one time here.

    I think whether it is called management reserve or construction reserve, the idea remains that the project should still carry a spare $100,000 forward for contingency use. Perhaps the confusion was introduced by the word ‘additional’, because a rose by any other name does not alter the bottom line. I do not see the intent is to make the number larger, just to preserve what is already there for some insurance against what may yet be found.

    I admit an error in my original answer about the listed design cost of $138,200. This was an expense covering the work last year that lead up to creating the plans and specifications for the project bids that were opened in January. The current contract with BergerABAM for construction period services is wrapped into the estimated $311,447 management costs. It was at approximately $100,000 before the discovery and I expect that the extra work now by the consultants will impact what the final value of that contract will be. Then there is the cost of special inspections and testing by a qualified engineering technology firm, and this service turns out to be a permit requirement. It will undoubtedly also expand because of the additional work. All other soft costs feed into this estimated amount as well, such as advertising bids, permit costs, staff time reimbursements by grants, any assistance with project documentation.

    It appears there may be an assumption at work that this sum, covering the total estimated construction management costs of $311,447, is all new and also a result of the discovery because it was not in the original contract. That is not the case. Construction management for an agency is always a separate cost item outside the contract with the contractor in the design-bid-build public works process.


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