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End may be near for Ocean Beach Pier, report says

OB Pier pic.jpg
Posted at 5:16 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-15 13:30:08-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- An alarming city report is making the case that the beloved Ocean Beach pier may soon be history. The pier has suffered major damage during winter storms and has been closed since January.

“Seeing it closed is nothing new," said Ocean Beach resident Mark-Elliott Lugo, "but the prospect that it might be demolished is devastating."

That prospect is outlined in a 2019 pier inspection the city released this month.

The firm Moffatt and Nichol says the Ocean Beach pier “has reached the end of its service life.” The city commissioned the report after a January 2019 storm damaged the pier, leading to pieces washing ashore.

“I'm upset that we didn't know the extent to which it was damaged in 2019, when they did that assessment,” said Denny Knox, who heads the Ocean Beach Main Street Association.

The 364-page inspection says seven of the pier's pilings have significant breakage, while 25 percent of them have vertical cracks. Plus, there is severe damage to the piling caps.

The report says the city can continue to make repairs, but that won't stop degradation. It can also rehabilitate the pier for $30 to $50 million, but sea level rise will catch up. The most cost effective option is to tear down and replace the pier, costing $40 to $60 million, according to the report.

“I just can't imagine what it would be like not to have a pier. It would be devastating to these small businesses,” Knox said.

The city repaired the pier and reopened it in June 2020, only to close it again in January after another storm.

It has yet to reopen.

The city did not immediately issue a statement on the report.