Santa Monica will begin strengthening the western end of the Santa Monica Pier next week in the first of three major steps to restore the storm-damaged structure.
Judith Meister, pier manager for the city, said that Healy-Tibbits Construction Co. has been awarded an $860,000 contract to bolster timber portions of the pier. The work is scheduled to be completed in September.
"Obviously, this is an important project," Meister said. "It will be the first visible improvement in the reconstruction of the pier. People have complained that they will not be satisfied with our rebuilding efforts until they see cranes on the pier. They will see them very soon."
The second major rebuilding project, replacing about 45,000 square feet of pier that was torn away from the southern section by the 1983 storms, is scheduled to start in October or November. The last phase--replacing the seaward 400 linear feet lost in the storms--will not be started until late next year.
Other Pier Improvements
Meister said that the total reconstruction project will cost $8 million, most of which will come from the federal and state governments. City costs are expected to be $2.5 million.
The city also is making progress on several other pier improvements. The newly constructed Carousel Park, located next to the Carousel, will open officially June 6.
The $1.3-million park includes a children's play area, gazebos and retail commercial space.
The city has allocated $14,000 to paint all of the pier's buildings, a project scheduled to be completed by the end of June.
Fisherman's, a Seattle-based restaurateur, will start work soon on the renovation of the old Moby's Dock Restaurant. When completed in September, the restaurant will be renamed Fisherman's and feature fish dinners.
Ice Cream and Potato Skins
Also this summer, there will be 8 to 10 pushcart vendors, selling, among other items, ice cream and baked potato skins.
Elaine Mutchnik, administrative coordinator for the Pier Restoration Corp., said her group hopes to open several children's amusement rides on the pier deck south of the Carousel.
And, starting July 10, the second annual pier twilight dance series, featuring music ranging from the big band to reggae, will be held from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
"These activities will make the pier a much more attractive and entertaining place to be," Mutchnik said.