Council to Vote on Funds for Pier Work

The City Council is scheduled to decide tonight whether to set aside $350,000 in insurance money to begin the long process of repairing the wave-damaged Ventura Pier.

City officials expect to receive a $250,000 advance from the insurance company that covers the pier, which lost 423 feet of wooden decking during a December storm. Added to the insurance money is a $100,000 city deductible.

City staff members are recommending that the council allocate the money so officials can begin work on the pier. That work would consist of further studies on why it collapsed and the removal of broken pile stubs.

Prior to the storm, the structure had been known as the longest wooden pier in the state at 1,958 feet.

The council will also decide whether to pay a San Francisco Bay Area engineer $58,000 to conduct further studies. Charles I. Rauw of Martinez was hired immediately after the storm to conduct an initial analysis of why the pier collapsed.

Additional studies would be focused on the best way to repair the pier given its position in the ocean and history of wave damage, according to a city report.

The study would include random tests of underwater and above-water pilings, a computer model of past storm events dating to 1931, and the use of a "dynamic compressive impact wave analyzer" that would look for broken piles below the mud-line. The engineer would also study ways to repair the pier.

The City Council decided last month to review three ways to fix the pier: leaving it at its current length, restoring it to its original length using stronger materials, or rebuilding it to a length in between its current and former conditions.

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