by: Madeleine Pauker
original article: https://www.smdp.com/coastal-commission-to-hear-venice-pier-rehabilitation-this-week/174145
The Venice Pier will be renovated and repaired for the first time in almost a quarter of a century.
The 1,200-foot-long pier has been damaged twice since it was restored in 1996 after years of deterioration and has not yet been repaired. In December 2005, the platform for bathrooms near the end of the pier collapsed into the ocean during high surf and the pillars that failed, as well as the platform, were never replaced. Last June, the ramp to the pier caught fire, burning about 12 feet of timber, guardrails and electrical infrastructure. The fire damage was temporarily repaired so the pier could remain open.
Over the next year, however, parts of the pier with be fully or partially closed during certain phases of the rehabilitation. The ramp damaged by the recent fire will be replaced. The pier’s damaged concrete pillars will be repaired, encased in fiberglass and reinforced with steel rods, if necessary. Damaged concrete in the deck will also be replaced.
Construction may impact the beach’s water quality and metal and wood scaffolding will be temporarily erected beneath the pier to prevent debris from falling into the water. Work is expected to conclude by May 2020.
The pier was constructed in 1965 and closed in 1986 after it started shedding pieces of concrete. It was slated for demolition, but Venice residents rallied behind it and the pier reopened in 1997 following a $4.5 million restoration.
The Coastal Commission will debate the 2019-2020 rehabilitation project at its meeting Thursday in Salinas, Calif.
The commission will also hear a report on the $6,895,100 Santa Monica Bay Restoration plan, which will engage nine nonprofit organizations and public agencies for 10 projects to improve coastal water quality, preserve and enhance coastal resources and enhance access to the bay and its watershed.
Projects include restoring the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, kelp forests, seagrass habitats, dunes, bluffs and urban streams, recovering abalone populations, acquiring new open space for habitat preservation and building a wildlife crossing, which has been proposed over the 101 Freeway at Liberty Canyon.
The organizations involved in the project will also monitor the effects of climate change, microplastics and other marine debris, algal blooms and pollution on the bay. They plan to conduct community outreach about water conversation and push for local and state policies to divert waste and pollution from coastal areas.