Thousands of San Diegans visited an old friend Friday.
“I’m super stoked that it’s open,” said Bree Remensperger as she sat in the sand next to the iconic Ocean Beach Pier. “It feels like it’s part of the community.”
Judging by the Friday crowds on the 55-year-old pier, plenty of people agreed.
The City of San Diego reopened the pier this week since closing it in January after winter storms took a toll on the span. Officials said city engineers and maintenance crews made immediate repairs to make a portion of the pier safe for public access while a longer-term strategy is developed for the future of the pier.
“The views you get out here on the pier are unlike anything else,” said Alyssa Stewart. “Every neighbor I’ve seen on the walk down here, I’m like, ‘The pier’s open. Come check it out!’”
The city only reopened half the pier. A locked chain-link fence keeps anyone from walking past the cafe midway down. The pier must still close during high-tide.
“We were surprised today. We thought it was closed. So, we were pleasantly surprised it was open,” said Rick Graves who is visiting from Northern California.
The city has some tough decisions to make about the pier’s future. A simple patch-job will cost roughly $8 million but will not stave off the inevitable deterioration. However, complete demolition and rebuild could cost the city upwards of $60 million, according to a city report. Read details here.
“As a local who likes to walk this, it’d be nice if they could repair it and keep it open,” said Stewart.
“Hopefully they’ll rectify the problem and either recondition it, refurbish it, or replace it,” added Graves.
City Council Member Jennifer Campbell is convening a community working group that will provide the community with a consistent forum to provide input on the future of the pier. In the coming weeks, the council president will also be hosting a community forum alongside city engineers and department staff to discuss the most recent damage and repairs made.