Contract awarded for pier deck resurfacing

Ventura Port District’s board members authorize nearly $500,000 for fishing pier update.

Editor’s Note: This story erroneously identified the wrong pier and has been updated. We apologize for the error.

UPDATE [9/28/18 – 8:45 a.m.]: Garland Co., Inc., will be resurfacing a fish pier deck within Ventura Harbor, not to be confused with the public pier located along the city’s coast. Details of the project remain the same, and references to Ventura Pier’s history are accurate. References to Ventura Pier in paragraph 6 and onwards are independent of the work being done on the fish pier deck. Ventura Pier is not within the port district’s control.

VENTURA — The Ventura Port District’s Board of Port Commissioners awarded a contract to Garland Co. to complete the deck resurfacing of the local fish pier, Aug. 22. Board members specifically approved a contract for $499,950. The total Ventura Pier project cost will be $575,000, thanks to a 10 percent contract award contingency and an additional $25,000 allocated for a consulting agreement.

Updating the pier’s deck would extend its useful life, according to port district staff.

“The scope of work includes the removal of the existing overlay and approximately one inch of the existing concrete from the entire 13,000 [square feet] of deck surface. A four layer waterproofing membrane would then be applied,” port district staff stated in a report to board members. “The work has a cost of $38.45 per [square foot] and Garland would guarantee the product for five years.”

Limited work was performed on the pier’s deck in 2013 and 2014. Port district staff stated Garland Co.’s bid is “cost efficient” and addresses a broader scope of work.

Garland Co. is expected to do its work in two phases.

Ventura Pier was built in 1872 and was once key infrastructure for the region’s agricultural, construction and oil trade industries. It is now a popular destination for pier fishers and visitors. Common catches from the pier include the Pacific thresher shark, Pacific mackerel, calico bass, croaker, barred perch and corbina, among others.

The pier’s original length was 1,200 feet and reached 1,958 feet at its peak in 1938; it measures 1,600 feet now. Water depth at pier’s end is measured at 23 feet.

Ventura Pier was reconstructed six times in its history: 1878, 1928, 1936, 1938, 1993 and 2000. The pier, when first built, cost $45,000 and was completed within five months (compared to a $2.2 million budget for the 2000 rebuild). It was primarily used as a commercial wharf between 1872 and 1914. Cattle, citrus, crude oil, lima beans, pigs, seaweed and wheat were the chief products shipped from the pier. Cargo has not been unloaded onto the pier since 1940.

Beach erosion, fires, ships and storm waves are common enemies of the pier. Fires and storms, for example, wholly or partially destroyed the pier in 1977, 1926, 1935, 1937, 1949, 1969, 1983 and 1987.

Ventura County Boat Club and the Sea Scouts formerly had a presence on Ventura Pier. The pier was also home to restaurants such as Seaview Café and Eric Ericsson’s Fish Co.

There are more than 100 ocean piers between Crescent City and Imperial Beach.

The next Board of Port Commissioners meeting is set for Sept. 12.

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