AVALON – The Catalina Island Conservancy recently completed the reconstruction of White’s Landing Pier, which was essentially destroyed by the storm surge and high surf caused by Hurricane Marie as it churned in the waters off the coast of Baja in August 2014.
The hurricane-driven storm surge and high surf caused extensive damage in Avalon Bay and on the mainland as well. It swept away most of White’s Landing Pier, eliminating the main access point for campers at The Catalina Experience and members of the Balboa Yacht Club and the San Diego Yacht Club. Replacing the 1950s-era wooden pier on the island’s north-facing shore cost about $1.8 million and required extensive permitting, shipping supplies from the mainland and transporting workers and staff to the site. The new pier is 288 feet in length, and it has an 80-foot gangway.
“Rebuilding the pier was an important project for the camp and boaters who enjoy the access it provides to one of the Island’s most expansive sandy beaches,” said Ann M. Muscat, PhD, Conservancy president and CEO. “We thank the yacht clubs and the camp for their patience. We also thank the hard-working construction crews, contractors and Conservancy staff for completing this complicated project barely a year after the pier was destroyed.”
The pier reconstruction is part of the ongoing work the Conservancy performs to maintain and operate 220 miles of roads, 150 miles of hiking opportunities within its road and trail system, the Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden, two nature centers, the Conservancy’s headquarters building in Avalon, numerous vehicles, the Airport in the Sky and many other facilities across the 42,000 acres it stewards on Catalina Island.
Rebuilding White’s Landing Pier required a team of Conservancy staff and contractors, including Erin Kennedy of T.C. Collins & Associates, Inc., who was the project manager; Lenny Altherr, the Conservancy’s director of capital projects, who was the project construction manager; Tony Budrovich, the Conservancy’s chief operating officer; the Conservancy Board of Directors, which made the financing possible; URS, which quickly developed the engineering specifications and drawings; Connelly-Pacific Co., which mobilized the significant equipment and crew needed to construct the pier itself; Jordahl Construction, Inc.; Fine Line Construction, and CORElectric. Jared Ficker of California Strategies LLC helped navigate the complicated permitting process
About the Conservancy
Formed in 1972, the Catalina Island Conservancy is one of California’s oldest land trusts. Its mission is to be a responsible steward of its lands through a balance of conservation, education and recreation. Through its ongoing efforts, the Conservancy protects the magnificent natural and cultural heritage of Santa Catalina Island, stewarding approximately 42,000 acres of land and more than 60 miles of rugged shoreline. It provides an airport and 50 miles of biking and nearly 150 miles of hiking opportunities within its road and trail system. The Conservancy conducts educational outreach through two nature centers, its Wrigley Memorial & Botanic Garden and guided experiences in the Island’s rugged interior. Twenty miles from the mainland, the Island is a treasure trove of historical and archaeological sites. It also contains numerous rare and endangered animals and plants. The Island is home to 60 species – and counting – that are found only on Catalina. For additional information, please visit www.catalinaconservancy.org.
Photo credit: Lenny Alther