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Ocean Beach Pier Reopens After Being Closed For Months

Ocean Beach Pier gates open (top), May 24, 2019 and damage from winter storm to the pier (below) Jan. 18, 2019.
Matt Hoffman
Ocean Beach Pier gates open (top), May 24, 2019 and damage from winter storm to the pier (below) Jan. 18, 2019.

Ocean Beach has its pier back.

"This is such an important part of San Diego — not only Ocean Beach but the entire community," said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. "To get it open before Memorial Day — the unofficial start of summer — that was the promise we made to the community."

In January high surf damaged the Ocean Beach Pier and city crews have been working to get it open ahead of an expected busy Memorial Day weekend. Guard rails as well as water, electric and sewer lines needed to be repaired.


"I know a lot of the restaurants and businesses were really looking forward to today," Faulconer said.

VIDEO: Ocean Beach Pier Reopens After Damage From High Surf Kept It Closed For Months

RELATED: Storm-Battered Ocean Beach Pier Could Reopen By Memorial Day Weekend

Johnny Fisher’s family owns the Walking On Water Cafe, located literally on the Ocean Beach Pier.

"If the gates are closed — there’s no business," Fisher said, referring to the entrance of the pier.


For the last few months, his family and their 10 employees have been out of work.

"We didn’t know how long it was going to be and we’re just happy to be open now," Fisher said. "It’s been a long time."

There were a handful of anglers who were eager to get back to fishing.

"I caught a queen fish — I just got lucky today," said fisherman John Sawaya. "On the first day of the opening of the Ocean Beach Pier."

Sawaya said he's a regular at the pier and is glad it's open again.

"Oh I’m so happy — actually it’s exciting," he said.

RELATED: Ocean Beach Pier Still Closed Weeks After High Surf Damage, Unclear When It Will Reopen

Repairs to the pier came in at $309,000 — more than $100,000 less than originally estimated. Those were short term repairs. City officials said they’re evaluating the pier, which opened in 1966, to figure out if it needs any long term fixes.

"It’s safe and open for the summer but this pier has been here for 50 years and so we’re really going to take a look at it to say what do we need to do to keep it open for another 50," Faulconer said.

A report detailing construction and cost estimates will be completed later this year. The city says more than 500,000 people visit the pier each year and, at nearly 2,000 feet, it is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast.

Ocean Beach Pier Reopens After Being Closed For Months
By Reporter Matt Hoffman The Ocean Beach Pier was closed for more than four months after being battered by high surf. On Friday it officially reopened. You can hear this story and other local news every morning by subscribing to San Diego News Matters, KPBS’ daily news podcast. Subscribe via iTunes,Google Play or your favorite podcatcher.