Edmonds pier to close March 14 for three months of repairs

EDMONDS — One of the city’s biggest attractions — its 944-foot long fishing pier — is scheduled to close for three months beginning March 14.

The L-shaped pier, which is 40 years old, attracts an estimated 100,000 people a year, including fishermen who cast lines into Puget Sound, birdwatchers and strolling families.

The city first announced last summer that the pier would close for repairs in the spring. Signs were recently posted near the pier warning of the pending closure.

Nevertheless, the city expects that some people still will be caught off-guard by the pier’s closure.

“Yes, I expect we will have some push back,” said Mayor Dave Earling. “But in the long haul, it’s the best decision for the community and the region to rehabilitate the pier so it’s an asset to the region over time.”

The pier, which opened in 1975, was at risk of being closed because of the lack of needed upgrades to its foundation.

“We tried our hardest to keep the pier open during construction, but we were unable to do that and keep the pier safe for citizens,” said Carrie Hite, the city’s parks, recreation and cultural services director. The public restrooms near the pier will remain open and the ranger station will reopen as usual on Memorial Day.

The pier will be repaired, rather than permanently shut down, due in large part to grants received for the repairs: $200,000 from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, $500,000 from the state’s Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account and $100,000 contributed by the city. The final piece of funding needed to complete the project was $800,000 from the state, which was approved last year.

Razz Construction Inc. of Bellingham submitted the winning bid of $1 million to complete the repairs, said Henry Schroder, the city’s capital projects manager. The project will repair the supports beneath the pier’s deck.

“It’s hard to see where the worst of it is when you’re on the pier,” Schroder said.

Saltwater has caused the rebar to corrode, which weakens the concrete. The project will remove the concrete and take out any corroding rebar, he said. Upgrades also are planned above the decking, including new shelters, windbreaks, benches, railings, light fixtures and fish-cleaning stations.

“Once it’s done, it will look pretty similar, but it will be new and shiny,” Schroder said.

A kiosk, with information on tide tables, fishing regulations and ferry schedules, will be added.

Visitors to Olympic Beach may notice a barge just off shore that will be used to store equipment on for the repairs, Hite said. Some parking near the beach also may be affected to so workers can use it as a staging area.

The pier is the only spot in Edmonds with public access to saltwater fishing. All waterfront shorelines in the city are part of a marine sanctuary. No fishing is allowed.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

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