City to Place Band-Aid on OB Pier’s ‘Gaping Wound’ to Allow It to Briefly Reopen

by on December 21, 2021 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

Damage to OB Pier, Jan. 11, 2021

By Geoff Page

The City of San Diego sent out a press release titled “City of San Diego to Begin Emergency Repairs on Ocean Beach Pier – PIER EXPECTED TO FULLY REOPEN AFTER REPAIRS ARE COMPLETE” that The Rag has posted in its entirety.  The very first line of the press release is wrong.

Either the city is trying to rewrite history or they have paid no attention to the years of information on the pier. The city is being duplicitous or it is showing its incompetence. Here is that sentence:

“Emergency repairs will begin this week on a section of the Ocean Beach Pier to fix damage caused by storm conditions in January 2021.”

The piles that are being repaired were not damaged by the “storm conditions in January 2021,”–  they were first noted as damaged in the 2004 Pier report:

“Vertical cracks were also noted near the tops of three piles. One is located at Bent 27 and the other two are near Bent 60.”

In the 2016 report on the pier’s conditions were pictures of the two seriously damaged piles #60 and #61.

The city did nothing. The 2021 storms caused additional damage; those storms were not the sole cause of the damage. Had the city heeded the repair recommendations of the engineers years ago, the pier would not have needed closing as it is now.

The press release then repeated this incorrect information when it stated:

“The pier’s west end has remained closed to the public after significant damage to two columns, also known as piles, which vertically support the structure.”

At this point, the continuing claim that the 2021 storms caused the damage is beginning to sound more duplicitous than incompetent.

The mayor’s statement that he looks forward to emergency repairs so San Diegans can again enjoy the whole pier rings a little hollow. First, the pile repair should have occurred years ago. Second, had the mayor moved more swiftly, the repairs could have taken place during the summer this year when the surf and weather were not challenging. Now, the repairs are to take place during the worst time of year for such work.

The paragraph about sea level rise causing the city to consider a full pier replacement made no sense. The condition of the pier and sea level rise are very different subjects. The predicted amount of sea level rise is not a threat to the pier.

The last paragraph about $200 million in state funding including the $8.4 million for the pier was a bit of news. The city has talked about the $8.4 million all year but never mentioned it was part of the state funding for regional projects. Up to this point, the $8.4 million was said to be from a grant of some kind.

What the city has not said is the repair of the two piles will only provide a brief future for the pier.  Estimates as little as one or two years have been mentioned by the engineers. This grand gesture by the city is a band aid on a gaping wound but it will allow the end of the pier to reopen.

And, that will give the mayor and council member Campbell another photo op in front of the pier, much like the one last year with the former mayor when they reopened the pier that was damaged so badly it represented a real threat to public safety.

Let’s see how serious the mayor is in pushing for a new pier.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jimmy Jimmerino December 24, 2021 at 6:12 pm

“Either the city is trying to rewrite history or they have paid no attention to the years of information on the pier. ”

Or both. Could be both.


Frank Gormlie December 27, 2021 at 9:58 am

Would it surprise anyone that the Pier reopens just before the 2022 Primary?


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