Pacifica Pier closed for repairs after being damaged by strong waves

Lauren Martinez Image
Friday, January 5, 2024
Pacifica Pier closed for repairs after wave damage
Powerful waves have compromised the Pacifica Pier, leading to a three-week closure for repairs.

PACIFICA, Calif. (KGO) -- Powerful waves have compromised the Pacifica Pier, leading to a three-week closure.

On Thursday, the city's Public Works Engineering Division said on Dec. 28, a combination of high tides and large waves damaged sections of the pier's deck and concrete railing.

Now, the pier will be closed for three weeks to undergo structural assessment.

Lynn Adams, president of the Pacific Beach Coalition, is not surprised.

"I'm really proud of them for making that call - I think it's the right thing to do we have to be safe," Adams said.

VIDEO: Coastal Bay Area cities monitor high surf after damage from last week's powerful waves

From East Cliff to West Cliff, Santa Cruz looked more like the North Shore of Hawaii with the sun shining bright over the blue water and big waves.

The pier is a quarter of a mile long.

Adams said it's a popular place, especially for those who fish for work or fun.

"Oh it's used - I mean sometimes it's elbow to elbow by people," Adams said.

Pacifica resident Tori Suarez lives down the block.

"Every day that people are allowed on it - there are people fishing a lot. These are people who do it for a living you know, do it to feed their families and stuff and so it's a really critical part of Pacifica," Suarez said.

Suarez said public works crews have been busy in the area. A recent sinkhole off Beach Boulevard grew from 2-4 feet to practically half a block wide.

MORE: Incredible videos show dangerous surf pounding NorCal coast

From massive waves at Mavericks to high surf along the Sonoma County coastline, here's a look at some of the incredible videos from Thursday.

"The waves are so strong when they come crashing across the street - they've actually broken garage doors. So garage doors have buckled so people are having to board up their garages," Suarez said.

The city tells ABC7 News they understand this is a heavily used place - it's one of the only piers where people can fish for free. Sometimes they can see up to 2,000 visitors a day.

Lisa Petersen, the Public Works director for Pacifica, says a structural assessment last spring looked at damage from previous storms.

Now, the city will combine those findings with this new assessment for a finalized report.

The Pacifica Pier was built in 1973.

MORE: Rogue wave hits California, flooding streets and sweeping people off their feet in Ventura

Petersen estimates repairs could cost around $20 million.

Petersen said the city is actively looking for grant funding. The pier is an expensive endeavor.

The assessment is expected to be completed by Jan. 25; afterward the city will determine if the pier can be reopened.

Lynn Adams, a longtime Pacifica resident herself said the pier is a wonderful resource valued by people from all over the state.

Adams said the severity of the storm damage speaks to the sea level rise and climate change.

"The question is, how can you stop that much force? We have to look at nature. You know Mother Nature wins and predicates what we need to do next," Adams said.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live