City wants public input on whether to repair, rehabilitate or replace
Article by Emily Alvarenga, Community reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune
For half a century, the Ocean Beach Pier has been a pillar of its San Diego community — for the fishers who have cast their lines over its rails, the junior lifeguards who’ve leaped from its platform, the locals who’ve watched Fourth of July fireworks launch off its decks, even the dolphins and pinnipeds who’ve swum through its base.
“It is not just a structure, but it’s a beloved icon of San Diego and of Ocean Beach,” said Mayor Todd Gloria.
But no structure — not even an iconic one — lasts forever.
As constant exposure to saltwater and the harsh marine environment has caused the pier’s concrete deck to crumble in places and rust to climb its piles, the landmark’s age has started to show.
A 2018 study determined the pier had “reached the end of its service life” and gave the city three options: repair it, rehabilitate it, or replace it.
In the years since winter storms have resulted in several months-long closures. High surf battered its railing boards, cracked piles, and even moved hundred-pound concrete benches across the decks.
The pier’s gates have been shut since January, when one of the largest ocean swells to hit San Diego County in years resulted in 10- to 12-foot waves along the coast.
As seen for paid subscribers at The San Diego Union-Tribune