By Kennedy Hammond
Numerous broken wood beams, heavy water erosion and $8.8 million later, the Pismo Beach pier is finally buckling up for long ride of reconstruction.
Since summer 2015, after inspectors analyzed the crumbling pier, a budget was set of $7.6 million in hopes to completely revamp the 93 year old pier; but due to speculation of the San Luis Obispo City council members, renovation dates had been delayed with doubts that the set budget could cover the complete cost deemed necessary for the renovation.
Almost two years later, the notorious Pismo Beach pier budget was increased by the large amount of $1.2 million and was finalized as of early March 2017. The City Council suggests that the pier should open for business again in late 2019.
Locals and tourists have been visiting the now heavily construction filled zone taking place on the pier to take pictures of the numerous tractors and excavation equipment that swarms the area.
â€œSo far everything is going as scheduled,â€ said James Larson, construction site manager for Pismo Engineering Division. â€œWeâ€™ve removed the visitors information kiosk and gift shop that used to be towards the middle of the pier, and now we’re just working to expand the base of the pier’s entrance.â€
With further ado, the pier has already undergone some extreme changes and is still on schedule to be finalized in late 2019 but, Larson did raise a few doubts about the budget set forth to finalize the pier.
â€œMy only concern would have to be making a last minute increases to the budget,â€ Larson said. Â
The $8.8 million budget will be put towards new wooden and steel beams, flooring planks, updating the electrical system and ventilation in the event that there is ever a fire.
Surrounding the Pismo Beach pier approximately eight restaurants, a handful of hotels and a dozen surf and gift shops. Panchos Surf Shop store clerk, Kimberly Manns, shared her concerns about the reconstruction taking place right outside her store windows.
â€œA lot of people complain about the lack of parking and how the tractors, trucks and their equipment take up about half the parking lot,â€ Manns said. â€œMy fear is people will just go to like Avila Beach where there is more parking and less chaos.â€
There is only one small parking lot at the base of the pier, where thereâ€™s now large tractors and trucks that take up a significant amount of space, but the pier construction crew isnâ€™t solely responsible for the lack of parking.
On the opposite side of the parking lot there’s a new hotel that has been undergoing construction since the early summer of 2016 that is also responsible for the crowded parking lot. No specific date has been appointed as to when the hotels construction will be finished.
The boardwalk, along with the beach, will remain open for all locals and guests during the duration of the reconstruction. If everything continues to go as planned, the pier will be ready to go by September 2019.
Kennedy Hammond produced this multimedia piece while being a student in JOUR 201A â€“ Beginning Reporting and Writing.
This and other courses in the Journalism & Digital Communication Department offers students the opportunity to get their work published.