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Pacifica Pier Update

March 26, 2021

This Pacifica Pier update is being provided in “For the Record” to inform the public about the facts and timeline regarding the recent damage to the pier, the closure required for public safety, the assessment of damage performed, and the timeline for next steps.

On January 14, 2021, a combination of high tides and large waves damaged a forty-foot section of the Pacifica Municipal Pier’s west facing deck and concrete railing. The City’s Public Works Engineering Division assessed the Pier damage and determined the Pier was unsafe for users and visitors until further notice. The City released a Press Release at that time stating the Pier would be closed for a month or longer until a structural assessment of the Pier railing could be completed.

Following the closure, City Engineering staff pursued proposals from structural engineering consultants on an expedited basis for a safety assessment of the Pier railing and above deck elements. Based on the proposals received, GHD, who is the City’s coastal engineering consultant on the Beach Boulevard Infrastructure Resiliency project, was selected to complete the work due to their alignment of proposed scope with the project need and extensive coastal engineering experience. The agreement with GHD and the City was signed by the City Manager on February 12, 2021.

A final draft structural assessment report from GHD was received by the City on March 18, 2021 and City Engineering staff completed their review on March 26th. The report will be released to the public the week of March 29, 2021. Based on information in the report, the portion of the pier that runs perpendicular to the shoreline will be able to be opened safely to the public as long as railing sections identified as severely damaged are repaired within a year. The section of the Pier running parallel to the shoreline, where the railing was broken from the Pier deck, will need to be fenced off and closed to public access and the City will begin to seek funding through grants, the state, or other sources, to repair and reopen this section of the Pier. Railing sections are identified in the report as having damage from a range of minor to severe, with timeframes when these sections of railing need to be repaired. Although these sections are currently structurally safe, funding assistance from other sources than the City is essential to complete these required repairs and all of these areas will need to gradually be repaired and/or replaced. Reopening of the main portion of the pier is anticipated for mid- to late-week, sometime between March 31 and April 2, 2021. A press release about the reopening will be issued early during the week of March 29, 2021.

The City of Pacifica leases the land underneath the Pier from the State of California. Based on the lease agreement signed by the City with the State in 1971, the City is responsible for maintenance of the Pier. The City averages $60,000 per year on operational costs to maintain the Pier. Since 2017, the City has spent approximately $300,000 on six capital maintenance projects for the Pier. Not included in these costs is the most recent maintenance project to fix a hole that formed between the Pier’s north abutment footing and the existing metal sheet pile. The final cost for this recent repair is anticipated to be $250,000 to $300,000.

Should you have any questions or concerns, you can contact the Department of Public Works – Field Services Division at (650) 738-3760 or email dpwassistance@ci.pacifica.ca.us. Thank you for your cooperation, and your patience while the City works diligently to ensure the pier is safe and can continue to be an important public amenity.

For updates on the Pacifica Pier, please visit: www.cityofpacifica.org/pier.