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Ocean Beach Pier repairs underway, may partially reopen in summer

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Posted at 2:17 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 18:45:23-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Repairs are underway to restore portions of the damaged Ocean Beach Pier, and officials hope to partially reopen the landmark by this summer.

The pier has been shuttered since high surf battered the pier and damaged parts of the railing in January. Prior to that, the pier was reopened in June 2020 after, again, closing due to damage from another storm.

City crews are currently repairing portions of the railing and other parts of the pier. A specific timeline for when the pier will reopen was not been given, but the city is hoping to open the pier in some capacity by the summer.

RELATED: End may be near for Ocean Beach Pier, report says

When the pier is reopened, City Council President Jennifer Campbell says several restrictions will be in place:

  • The portion of the pier beyond the Cafe but before the expansion join will be closed for safety reasons,
  • No vehicle traffic will be allowed on the pier except for emergency vehicles when necessary,
  • The pier will be closed during very high tides

"I am grateful that a large portion of the Ocean Beach Pier can be safely reopened for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. Much more work will need to be done to address the damage to other parts of the pier and find a long-term solution moving forward," said Campbell in a release.

While the repairs will allow the pier to partially reopen eventually, the future remains uncertain — and at this point, bleak — for the aging structure, according to a recent report.

That 364-page report, commissioned by the city in 2019 after the pier was damaged during a storm, says the structure "has reached the end of its service life," according to the firm Moffatt and Nichol. The report says the pier's pilings have significant breakage, while 25 percent of them have vertical cracks. There's also severe damage to the piling caps.

The report goes on to any city repairs won't stop degradation. While rehabilitation would cost $30 to $50 million, sea level rise may catch up, the report said. Tearing down and replacing the pier would cost $40 to $60 million, the report added.

Campbell said that her office is working with Mayor Todd Gloria's team, the city's engineering department, and local leaders and groups to chart out a path forward for the pier.

Any future construction of the pier will likely include modern materials used at higher elevations in order to withstand potential sea level rise and the effects of climate change, said Campbell.

"The Ocean Beach Pier is a treasure to our community and has served the city for over 50 years and I am determined to look at all options with members of this community to plot out what the next 50 years will look like," said Campbell.