The Santa Monica Pier is one of America’s most visible public spaces with millions of visitors each year. AECOM was contacted by the City of Santa Monica with a difficult task—defend the world famous Santa Monica Pier from accidental or deliberate vehicle intrusions. AECOM engineers contacted Calpipe Security Bollards to assist in developing a solution. This job was required to be installed without compromising the structure itself. In addition to respecting the historical structure, other natural and municipal challenges presented themselves:
- The very corrosive saltwater environment of the Pacific Ocean would be just fifteen feet below the proposed bollard structure
- An impact-resisting mounting plate would have to be fabricated and installed, and be able to run horizontal to the wooden beams and joists of the pier
- Tight timing and budget requirements were imposed by the City of Santa Monica
- The bollard array needed to be removable in order to allow access to emergency vehicles onto the pier
CSB’s engineering staff put together plans and drawings for an array of stainless steel retractable bollards that met the security requirements of the City of Santa Monica and yet could fit within the structural limitations of the wooden pier itself. The stainless steel bollards had to be supported in such a manner that the weight of the bollards themselves was spread across a large area of the pier, and that any expansion of the pier due to heat did not cause the bollards to move in their positions. A custom steel frame was then fabricated. In addition to the weight, the plate was designed to help absorb the impact energy of any vehicle that struck the bollards so that the whole array acted as one barrier, and not five individual barriers. This was essential to prevent damage to the pier while meeting the security requirements of the project.
The end result of the project was an aesthetically pleasing bollard array that protects pedestrians while also allowing access to emergency vehicles. The City of Santa Monica was pleased with the fact that the pier was not irrevocably altered and that the safety of pedestrians and the structure itself was ensured. This array now provides the only day-to-day authorized vehicle access onto the Santa Monica Pier and was conceived and completed within a matter of months.