City of San Diego plans to replace the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier

The Pier ar Ocean Beach, San Diego

It’s not a trip to OB without the pier. | Photo via @jennycoffeyphoto

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A trip to Ocean Beach is nothing without the waves, sound of the ocean + views of the Ocean Beach Municipal Pier. The concrete landmark has been part of OB since 1966, attracts 500,000+ yearly visitors, and is a reel big hit with local fishers.

But not all things are as they a-pier. Recent damage + closures have prompted emergency repairs and discussions about the future of this pier-turesque oceanfront attraction.

OB Pier under

Life under the current OB Pier. | Photo via @jordanbledsoe

🌊 Recent repairs

High surf is known to batter the Ocean Beach Pier. Until last month, locals + visitors hadn’t had full access to due to storm damage — and salty beachgoers were awaiting a reopening. But the City of San Diego didn’t give into pier pressure, and it took about a year and a half to fully complete repairs.

  • In January 2021, a storm with high waves knocked over railings, making the pier unsafe + resulting in a full closure.
  • The pier partially reopened in May 2021. Visitors weren’t able to go past the bait shop + cafe, prohibiting access to the left and right sides of the T-shaped pier.
  • The State of California allocated $8.4 million to fully fix storm damage + reopen the pier in July 2021.
  • Repairs began in December 2021, resulting in full closures for the first half of this year.
  • On July 8, 2022, the pier fully reopened.

Prior to the storm in 2021, the pier underwent $430,000 in repairs resulting from damage caused by a January 2019 storm.

Ocean Beach with the Pier

At OB, the pier is part of the family. | Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

🌊 Time to re-pier?

It’s hard to imagine Ocean Beach without its landmark — and we won’t have to — but we may need to wave goodbye to the current pier.

In May 2021, development group Moffatt & Nichol + city officials proposed rehabilitating the pier at the cost of $30-50 million or rebuilding it, currently estimated around $65 million. The Ocean Beach Planning Committee presented a plan for a replacement in June 2022 — the only solution that would address the increased storm frequency + rising sea levels.

A timeline has yet to be established, so the pier as we know it will keep standing for now — but the city will take first steps this fall by assembling a task force to investigate the replacement. Before construction moves forward the city will need to create plans, follow environmental regulations, apply for grants + obtain community feedback.