Ocean Beach Pier reopens ahead of Fourth of July

Visitors walk the Ocean Beach Pier in June 2020 after it reopened from a closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The pier was damaged in January during powerful surf, prompting a six-month closure.


The Ocean Beach Pier is open to the public again after damage during powerful surf prompted a six-month closure.

The July 1 reopening came ahead of the 57th anniversary of the pier’s grand opening, being commemorated Sunday, July 2, and Independence Day celebrations. The Fourth of July will feature a display of hundreds of synchronized drones lighting the sky just north of the pier as part of the planned Luminosity Festival of Light.

Local nonprofit Luminosity bills the show as a quieter, more viable alternative to fireworks off the pier.

June 16, 2023

The pier was closed Jan. 6 because of damage from high surf, and an assessment several months later determined that storms had damaged several buildings, railings and a pump station. Some repairs have been made, though city officials said the pump station still needs to be fixed — a process that will continue for several weeks.

Public access won’t be affected by that work, but the pier’s restrooms will remain closed until the repairs are complete.

The city is still asking the public to help envision what the Ocean Beach Pier’s future might hold.

The second in a series of community workshops to gather ideas is scheduled for Saturday, June 10, at the Liberty Station Conference Center.

June 1, 2023

An engineering study completed in 2019 determined that the pier had “reached the end of its service life” and gave the city three options: repair the pier, rehabilitate it or replace it.

On June 10, the city held the second in a series of community workshops to share information about the project and gather community input. That feedback will be used by the city’s engineering consultants as they develop several design alternatives for a potential pier replacement.

Most in attendance at the first gathering seem excited by the prospect of a new pier, with recommendations including two levels, murals, an artificial reef and a museum or cultural center.

April 8, 2023

The designs will weave in considerations such as operational use, environmental permitting and historical significance and will be presented this fall, the city said. The winning design is expected to be chosen early next year.

Once a design is selected, a cost estimate will be put together, city officials said. Currently, $8.4 million in state funding has been set aside for the project, and the city plans to pursue other state and federal grants.

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