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San Diego seeking public input on potential replacement for Ocean Beach Pier

The Ocean Beach Pier in San Diego, Calif. Feb. 14, 2023.
Matthew Bowler
The Ocean Beach Pier in San Diego, Calif. Feb. 14, 2023.

The city of San Diego will host a series of community workshops to provide information and collect input on the Ocean Beach Pier Renewal project, it was announced Monday.

That project is intended to provide a long-term solution for the 56- year-old pier, which has been damaged by storms in the past several years — including the possibility of a full replacement.

"The Ocean Beach Pier has provided countless memories for people all around the world since it opened in 1966, but the harsh marine environment has caused major wear and tear over time," said Mayor Todd Gloria. "We are exploring the potential of replacing the pier because we value its importance to the community of Ocean Beach as an iconic attraction and an economic driver.


"We hope that a long-term solution can provide a new landmark that works for all of San Diego as well as Ocean Beach," he said.

Based on the findings of a 2018 study by consultant Moffatt & Nichol, San Diego determined that pursuing a replacement of the pier is the best option considering "the ongoing costs of repairs, the need to modernize the existing facility and the anticipation of future sea level rise," according to a city statement.

The study examined the damage and deterioration of the structure and analyzed three options for the future of the pier: repair, rehabilitate or replace. It found various structural problems with the pier and determined that it has reached the end of its service life.

The Ocean Beach Pier Renewal project is in the preliminary engineering and planning phase and still needs to go through other phases including environmental permitting and other regional agency permitting, design and construction.

The preliminary engineering and planning phase is expected to be completed this fall.


Upcoming public workshops will help consultants design the preferred alternative for the potential replacement of the pier. The first workshop is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, from noon to 4 p.m. at the Liberty Station Conference Center, 2600 Laning Road.

After the preferred alternative is completed, a detailed project schedule and cost estimate will be prepared. Currently, there is $8.4 million in state funding designated for the project and the city will pursue other state and federal grants, according to a city statement.

"Pursuing a replacement of the Ocean Beach Pier provides an opportunity to create a new, beloved structure that will serve the needs of San Diego residents and visitors well into the 21st century while honoring the legacy of the original pier," said James Nagelvoort, city strategic capital projects director.

The pier is closed to the public after being damaged by storms and high surf in January. The city will assess the full extent of the damage, both above and below the water's surface, once the storm season has passed and then make a decision regarding the potential for repairing and reopening the pier.

According to a city statement, crews may be spotted on the pier and in the water around the pier in the coming weeks and months as part of the investigative processes for both the potential repairs and replacement.

To learn more, visit the city's website.

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