The pier is near


The long-awaited rehabilitation of Malibu Pier, closed for several years now, may finally be on its way to becoming a reality.

The California Department of Parks and Recreation, owners of the pier and the ones paying the $657,991 tab for this first phase of the renovation, gathered many of the involved players — state, county, city, contractors and press — together for a preconstruction meeting Monday to give the project its final “go” date. The 20-plus people meeting in the conference room of the Michael Landon Center came to work out the final details, review the contract and permits, anticipate problems and attempt to head them off before they occur.

They chose as the official starting date Oct. 27, although they’ve already begun the preconstruction set up. With the final exchange of the signed contracts, they can now begin ordering supplies like the creosote-soaked, epoxy-wrapped pilings that will replace missing and damaged pilings. The contract requires the project be completed within 120 calendar days of the start date, and there is a liquidated damages penalty (somewhat like a fine) of $500 per day for every day after Oct. 27 the project is not completed.

The completion, however, could be permissibly delayed by bad weather and any unforeseen changes.

Although there is no certainty, the contractor, Bruce Darian of Darian Construction, a Malibu contractor, who is joint venturing this project with Accent Builders, and Malibu City Manager Harry Peacock thought a more probable completion date, based upon their past experience, would be about six months.

The state will have an onsite inspector at the pier every working day. Construction is currently scheduled for Mondays through Fridays but, if necessary, could include Saturdays to make the schedule.

During construction, the parking lot adjacent to the pier will be closed to the public, although construction crews will be able to park there, space permitting. If there is not enough space for the construction workers. they will be shuttled in so there is minimal loss of street parking.

Part of the parking area will be used for workshops and material storage. The public will not be permitted entry to the construction area until the project is completed.

Because of potential noise from pile driving, working hours for the pile driving are restricted, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and noise restrictions will be imposed.

There will also be a full-time uniformed security guard on the pier.

The lifeguard station, for the Baywatch boat, will continue to operate off the end of the pier.

Phase 1 of the project includes the fixing of the underside of the pier, the pilings, the planking on the pier and the understructure areas on the landward side, next to the highway. Phase 2, at the seaward end, cannot be started until Phase 1 is finished, which ensures that the pier is structurally sound and workers can bring heavy equipment onto the seaward end .

When finished, the pier will look the same as before but will be usable. Phase 2 and Phase 3, the renovation of the former Alice’s Restaurant space, are contingent upon the availability of money, an additional roughly $3.5 to $4 million dollars. The source of that money might be the state, the county and the city. The total project, if done in one continuous stream, has been roughly estimated at 2-1/2 years from beginning to end.