Ocean Beach Pier, Pure Water Program Benefit

A wave of funding from the California State budget will help San Diego water infrastructure projects as well as other programs. Money will go toward Ocean Beach Pier repairs and San Diego’s Pure Water program. “The dollars that San Diego is receiving from the state will upgrade critical infrastructure, help us fight homelessness, ensure a reliable supply of clean water, enhance our arts and culture and much more,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said during a press conference.

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Ocean Beach Pier is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast and one of the largest tourist destinations in San Diego with approximately 500,000 visitors a year.  

But over its 55 years, Ocean Beach Pier has been affected by high surf and pounding waves, including damage during the king tides

A 2019 City-commissioned report by Moffatt & Nichol revealed that the pier “has reached the end of its service life.” Suffering significant deterioration, the “corrosion in the reinforcing steel has initiated and the structure will continue to degrade unless corrective action is taken,” the report stated.

In May, the City of San Diego made repairs to a portion of the pier, including replacing or reinstalling new brackets that secure the railing to the pier deck, allowing it to be reopened to the public. “Much more work will need to be done to address the damage to other parts of the pier and find a long-term solution moving forward,” Council President Jennifer Campbell said at the time.

Construction Industry at Risk: Big Concerns, Big Hit to Bottom Line

The Moffatt & Nichol report outlined a variety of options, including $30 million to $50 million for rehabilitation, $60 million for replacement, or $8 million to make repairs and address the deterioration.

The State budget included $8.4 million to go toward rehabilitating the Ocean Beach Pier. Councilmember Campbell’s office says they are also in the process of working to secure other funding at both state and federal levels. Additionally, the office is now in the early stages of forming a pier group with local community members, business leaders, and others interested in voicing their input to formalize plans for the pier’s future.

Funds for recycling

San Diego’s Pure Water program is also on the list of earmarked funds from the State budget. The program received $50 million to help as it works to convert wastewater to drinkable water. Currently only 8% of the wastewater from homes and businesses is recycled; the rest is treated and discharged into the ocean. This multi-phase program is a cost-effective investment that will provide a reliable, sustainable supply of an estimate of more than 40% of San Diego’s water supply by the end of 2035. 

According to the City, other State funds given to San Diego are also allocated to:

  • $3.1 million to prevent polluted stormwater runoff from entering Chollas Creek in the community of Sout;
  • $18 million for an energy-storage project at San Vicente Reservoir;
  • $35 million to replace an aging research vessel used by Scripps Institution of Oceanography;
  • $30 million for planning, design, site development and construction of a replacement UCSD Hillcrest Medical Center; and
  • $27.3 million this year as part of California’s $12 billion plan to address homelessness.

Plus funding will be put toward other projects and programs in San Diego.

Learn more about other water infrastructure projects across California that will benefit from State budget funds, and stay up-to-date on water infrastructure issues by signing up for the Rebuild SoCal Partnership newsletter. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and listen to The Rebuild SoCal Zone podcast.