City on top of piling repairs
by David Mendez
A pair of broken piles at the Redondo Pier is being repaired shortly after a video surfaced on social media showing one separated from its base. But according to city officials, the piles have been tagged for repair since a review by a city contractor in mid-December.
On New Year’s Eve, Redondo Beach resident J.D. Cox posted a video to a local-issues Facebook group, showing a broken pile underneath the Redondo municipal pier. The thick timber support post, between 12 and 16 inches in diameter, had completely separated from its base, in jagged shards.
“We’ve had some very rough wave action this winter, and my guess is that’s part of it,” said Councilman Todd Loewenstein, who represents the area. “I know that we do safety inspections at least every year, and we’re always checking it…but that’s at the front of the line in terms of concerns.”
City staff has known about the piles since mid-December, as a result of an inspection done by contractor John S. Meeks Co. The city has worked with Meeks dating back to at least 2013, when the company was given an emergency contract to repair 13 support braces and piles under the municipal pier after winter storms.
In 2017, the city agreed to a $1.3 million, five-year contract with Meeks for continual on-call support.
“That’s the beauty to having this contract. It gives us the flexibility to get these done as needed,” said Ted Semaan, Redondo’s Public Works Director. At the time, the city had recently received a report which found the Sportfishing Pier to be in dire disrepair, leading to its closure, as well as more than a dozen necessary repairs at the Redondo Pier. In 2018, pier repair costs totaled $377,849.
“That assessment is why we wanted to be proactive and not reactive,” Semaan said. “In those three years, the frequency of urgent repairs has been cut down tremendously.”
One pile has been repaired in the last week, and the second is due to be completed this week, weather permitting.