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Ocean Beach Pier suffers more damage over NYE weekend

Ocean Beach Pier surf damage
Posted at 7:04 AM, Jan 03, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — More rain and high surf are bad news for the closed Ocean Beach Pier, as huge waves knocked out a support pillar over the weekend.

ABC 10News dug deeper into the uncertainty over when one of San Diego's most visited landmarks will reopen. The pier has attractred locals and tourists alike for nearly 60 years.

"My first proper date that I went on when I came to Ocean Beach was right in the cafe there. It really has some sweet memories for a lot of people here," says William Carlisle.

The city closed the pier in October in preparation for the winter storm season. Over the last five years, it's been closed for a total of 18 months, upsetting some enough to post a sign to the mayor.

"It's very peaceful, like meditative, experience going out there, and I think most locals and tourists alike really enjoy this pier. It's very important to us," says Carlisle.

Big waves always attract big crowds, and the holiday weekend was no different. Massive waves crashed over the pier, briefly submerging it. The pounding surf knocked out a concrete pillar near the cafe and damaged some railings.

"In the six years I've been here, it was like the largest that I've noticed. Especially when they were going up against the cafe — definitely the largest that I've seen," says Carlisle.

A city spokesperson says San Diego has spent nearly $2 million in recent years repairing damage. The city's long-term solution is a pier renewal project. The community can weigh in on three possible designs.

The city initially said the pier would reopen early in 2024, but another winter storm is expected later this week with the potential for more damaging surf.

"I think it should be an indication to those that want to put another pier down here that it ain't gonna last. Come on — we just lost concrete," says resident Joe Castagna.

The city says once the storm season is over, crews will inspect the damage and reassess when the pier might reopen.