High surf prompts San Diego lifeguards to again close public access to Ocean Beach Pier

A wave hits the Ocean Beach Pier on Jan. 4.
(Randy Dible)

High surf prompted San Diego city lifeguards to shut down public access to the Ocean Beach Pier the morning of Jan. 5.

The pier also was closed temporarily last week as a precaution against rough surf.

The pier has been seriously damaged in past winter storms and had to be at least partially closed from January 2021 to July 2022.

On Jan. 5, the pier was closed around 10:15 a.m., according to a tweet by the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. A storm brought heavy surf and rain to the San Diego region early in the morning.

The Ocean Beach Pier, which first opened in 1966, is, at 1,971 feet, the second-longest ocean pier in California and the longest concrete pier in the world.

A report in 2019 by Long Beach-based engineering consultant Moffatt & Nichol said the pier has “reached the end of its service life,” and the city of San Diego plans to replace it.

In October, the City Council approved an $8 million contract with Moffatt & Nichol for a study to begin the planning process for replacing the pier. Plans call for construction of a new pier to begin by 2026.

But a lawsuit filed in November by the Animal Protection and Rescue League, a San Diego-based animal-rights and environmental group, seeks to block the contract, alleging that environmental factors haven’t been adequately considered since the contract calls for work such as auger boring, drilling, sand excavation and other activities that could cause fumes and noise pollution in Ocean Beach.

— Point Loma-OB Monthly staff contributed to this report.


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