Engineering Firm Recommends Steel Pilings for Redondo Pier

Times Staff Writer

A marine engineering consultant has recommended that plastic-coated steel pipes be used instead of wood pilings in the reconstruction of the Redondo Beach Pier.

The steel pilings under a concrete deck would provide greater resistance against the kind of storms and fires that destroyed most of the pier last year, the consultant said.

Jim Crumpley, project engineer for Long Beach-based firm Moffatt & Nichol, told the City Council this week that construction and maintenance costs for a pier using the steel pipes would also be lower than costs for four other options studied by the firm.

He said a Japanese company, Nippon Steel, had developed a plastic pipe coating that effectively resists salt-water corrosion for up to 70 years. In the recommended design, the pilings would connect through steel caps to a concrete deck.


Using Recommendations

City Engineer Ken Montgomery said Moffat & Nichol’s recommendations, along with another consultant’s earlier studies on wave forces in King Harbor, will be used by the architectural firm that designs the pier. An advisory committee is scheduled to select that firm next month, and construction on the pier could start by the end of this year.

Up to half of the $6-million pier reconstruction project will be financed by the state under the Natural Disaster Assistance Act, City Manager Tim Casey told the council. There had been some uncertainty about state financing until officials learned this week that a recent amendment to the act clearly brought the Redondo pier disaster within the scope of the assistance law, Casey said.

If the Japanese pipes are used, the basic pier would cost $3.8 million to build, and maintenance expenses over a 50-year period would be about $240,000, according to Crumpley’s estimates.

He said construction and maintenance costs for a wood-piling pier would run the highest: $4.4 million to build and $3.3 million to maintain. An all-concrete pier would need less maintenance, he said, but in the ocean surf, that mode of construction is more difficult and takes longer.