First public meeting seeking input on potential replacement of Ocean Beach Pier is set for April 1

The Ocean Beach Pier is pictured in January 2020.
(The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The city of San Diego will hold a series of community workshops to provide information and collect public input on the potential replacement of the Ocean Beach Pier.

The city is seeking a long-term solution, including the possibility of a full replacement, for the 57-year-old pier, which has been damaged by storms in the past several years and has been deemed to be at the end of its service life.

The 55-year-old pier has significant deterioration that could cost the city of San Diego millions to rehabilitate, according to the newly released report.

“The Ocean Beach Pier has provided countless memories for people all around the world since it opened in 1966, but the harsh marine environment has caused major wear and tear over time,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. “We are exploring the potential of replacing the pier because we value its importance to the community of Ocean Beach as an iconic attraction and an economic driver.

“We hope a long-term solution can provide a new landmark that works for all of San Diego as well as Ocean Beach,” he said.

Based on the findings of a study completed in 2019 by Long Beach-based engineering consultant Moffatt & Nichol, San Diego determined that pursuing a replacement of the pier is the best option considering “the ongoing costs of repairs, the need to modernize the existing facility and the anticipation of future sea-level rise,” according to a city statement.

The study examined the damage and deterioration of the structure and analyzed three options for the future of the pier: repair, rehabilitate or replace. It found various structural problems with the pier and determined that it had “reached the end of its service life.”

The city is now working with Moffatt & Nichol on the Ocean Beach Pier Renewal project, which is in the preliminary engineering and planning phase and still needs to go through other phases, including permitting, design and construction.

The engineering and planning phase is expected to be completed this fall.

Upcoming public workshops are intended to help consultants design the preferred alternative for the potential pier replacement.

The first session is scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 1, at the Liberty Station Conference Center, 2600 Laning Road, Point Loma. Presentations will be given at noon and 2 p.m., followed by interactive workshops.

According to the project timeline, four public meetings will be held this year, with a fifth to be held in the third quarter of 2024.

The city has said it would like to begin construction on a new pier by 2026.

Ocean Beach Pier Renewal project timeline
(City of San Diego)

After the preferred alternative is completed, a detailed project schedule and cost estimate will be prepared. Currently, $8.4 million in state funding is designated for the project, and the city will pursue other state and federal grants, according to a city statement.

Of the three options for the pier offered in the 2019 report — repairing existing damage (about $8 million), rehabilitating the pier (up to $50 million) or tearing it down and building a new one ($60 million to $65 million) — Ocean Beach community leaders have expressed preference for the latter, saying a new, modern pier would last longer (75 years or more) and be more cost-effective than a major overhaul.

The Ocean Beach Pier has been a landmark for the coastal community since it first opened in July 1966.

However, the price tag for a new pier is expected to be higher than the original estimate because of inflation and other factors.

“Pursuing a replacement of the Ocean Beach Pier provides an opportunity to create a new, beloved structure that will serve the needs of San Diego residents and visitors well into the 21st century while honoring the legacy of the original pier,” said James Nagelvoort, city strategic capital projects director.

The pier is closed to the public after being damaged by storms and high surf in January. The city will assess the full extent of the damage, both above and below the water’s surface, once the storm season has passed and then make a decision about repairing and reopening the pier.

The city said crews may be seen on the pier and in the water in coming weeks and months as part of the investigative process for both the potential repairs and replacement.

To learn more, visit

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


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