Pismo Pier Rehabilitation
Back in 1881, Pismo’s original wharf measured in at 1,600 feet long. It opened for business taking off from the point where present-day Main Street meets the beach. Remnants of the pilings may still be seen at very low tides. Originally, it was not planned for recreation as such—it was a commercial venture designed in part to save freight fees for South County products and was built for $14,613. The wharf was active in 1890, but in 1905 it gave way during a heavy storm.
The Pier that replaced the original was built 2 blocks South of the first Pier in 1924 and was much longer and larger that of either before or today. Major storms tore up the south side of the sea wall and took 500 feet off the end of the Pier early in its existence. This fallen portion of the Pier was never replaced. After a 1983 storm washed out most of the Pier it was rebuilt in its present 4-diamond configuration in 1985-86. Some areas of the 1985 Pier still consist of the original 1924 sections. The Pismo Pier is the 16th longest pier in California with a length of just over 1,200 feet.
1881—Original wharf opens below Main Street.
1924—New pier built in the current location.
1984—Pier rebuilt in its current four diamond layout after severe storm damage.
2017—Pier Rehabilitation Project begins.
On January 17, 2017, Cushman Contracting Corporation was awarded a contract in the amount of $6,462,000. Construction began on March 15, 2017 and the contractor has been working hard to make progress and is currently scheduled to complete the project approximately 8 months ahead of schedule.
This project involves the temporary relocation of the bait shack and the information kiosk onto the promenade area, while the contractor performs the necessary structural rehabilitation work. Additional improvements include a new electrical system, water line for fire protection, upgraded lighting, benches, tables and other public amenities. There will be areas for public art and information boards for learning spaces describing the history of the Pier, the surrounding area, and the marine environment. Upon completion, the Pismo Pier will have the look and feel of “Classic California” with a traditional wooden decking and outdoor recreational space.
As a public safety precaution, public access to the Pier will be closed intermittently during the reconstruction process, however creating opportunities for public access will remain a priority.
The estimated construction cost is $8.8 million, which will be funded by the City through a combination of sources from transit occupancy taxes, sales tax, general fund revenues, and bond proceeds. Work will be performed in a series of phases and is scheduled to be re-opened for Clam Festival on October 20, 2018.
The Pier, in its current location, was originally constructed in 1924. Since that time the Pier has suffered damage during several storms. A partial collapse of the Pier in 1983 prompted the State to reconstruct a portion of it in 1985. Sections of the Pier are more than 90 years old and, in a comprehensive structural inspection performed in 2015, it was recommended that several areas of the of the Pier be rehabilitated. This prompted the City to be proactive and address the Pier issues prior to any structural failures.
The Pier is a popular venue for events and ceremonies for residents and visitors, hosting just under a million visitors a year, and is a symbol of Pismo Beach and its Classic California culture. This project will be part of a series of future projects that will transform the downtown, waterfront, and public parks in Pismo Beach.
- Why did the City decide to rehabilitate the Pier?
- Has the Pier ever undergone reconstruction like this before?
- How many materials are used in building the Pismo Beach Pier?
- What is the total cost of the Pier rehabilitation projected to be?
- How long does the City anticipate this process to take?
- Will the City boardwalk and beach also be closed at times?
- Is the Pier going have a different shape or look different in any way?
- How will people know when a phase has been completed and when portions of the Pier have been reopened to the public?