Our Readers Write: Replacing Ocean Beach Pier would be the best option

 Ocean Beach Pier
Replacing the Ocean Beach Pier is the only way to “avoid the inevitable cycle of damage, closure, repair and more damage,” reader B. Chris Brewster writes.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Regarding “OB Pier ‘has reached the end of its service life,’ according to 2019 report; city says it still plans repairs” (April 16 online): A report finds that the iconic Ocean Beach Pier needs repair ($8 million), rehabilitation ($30 million to $50 million) or replacement ($60 million).

As a former lifeguard chief, my advice is that the only viable option is replacement.

Why? The design of the current pier was fundamentally flawed from its inception with a very vulnerable dip.

Each time we have high surf, that low spot is seriously damaged, lifeguards are forced to close the pier and the repairs often take months.

The cycle repeats itself every few years.

San Diego plans to reopen the Ocean Beach Pier after repairs to damage earlier this year are completed, the city said May 5.

May 6, 2021

Rehabilitating the pier will presumably not fix this Achilles’ heel and appears to cost close to the same amount as replacement.

It is time for a redesigned pier with a deck that is well above the surf heights San Diego can anticipate over the next 50-plus years. Only in that way will we avoid the inevitable cycle of damage, closure, repair and more damage.

B. Chris Brewster

— This letter was originally published by The San Diego Union-Tribune

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