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Costs rise on pier bridge walkway repairs

OCEANSIDE — The Public Works Department said costs would be more than expected to repair the 90-year-old twin bridge walkway that connects Pacific Street with the city’s wood pier.

Work on the first quadrant of the walkway has already exceeded estimates. Kiel Koger, city public works division manager, said a revised cost for work would be brought to the City Council for approval when repairs on the initial section are finished in about two weeks. Koger did not have an estimate to share at this time.

“Basically we’re treating it as an emergency project,” Koger said. “When we’re finished we’ll have a better idea of costs.”

The price of repairs is climbing due to the need for more sand blasting and patching than anticipated.

“There was no way of knowing until we got into it,” Koger said.

The twin bridge structure is showing wear where salt water has worked its way into cracks in the concrete, and caused chucks of the structure to expand and fall off.

Repairs entail removing spalled concrete, replacing or treating rebar with rust inhibitor and patching the affected area.

Koger said the quadrant under construction is on the northwest side of pier, closest to the ocean. It faces more wind and salt spray then the other sections of the walkway, and is expected to be in the worse shape.

The section also sits above the lifeguard headquarters. Current work causes extra noise and dust, and shoring that frames the project blocks one entrance to the headquarters.

Koger said city lifeguards have been cooperative and understand the work needs to be done.

Repairs on the first section of the walkway began on Aug. 10, and were anticipated to take six weeks. The timeline for completion has extended to nine weeks.

The three remaining sections of the walkway are more sheltered from the elements. They are expected to need less repairs and be finished quicker.

The entire project is estimated to be wrapped up by spring.

The company competing the work is paid for work done. Koger said the city will not pay beyond necessary work.

The aged walkway has had minimal maintenance over the years. Koger said repairs are needed, but overall the walkway is in relatively good shape.

Koger said eventually the entire concrete structure will need to be replaced. An estimate price to tear down and rebuild the bridge walkway is $10 million.

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