A grant appears in the offing

A grant appears in the offing that will help the city of Pacifica make necessary repairs to the pier.

The Pacifica pier will be repaired. The first step: City Council approved the application for $260,000 in grant funds to Coastal Conservancy for the Pacifica Municipal Pier repair on April 11.

The city is currently working with California Coastal Commission staff on permitting, said Sam Bautista, deputy director of Public Works. Staff aims to begin construction in summer, said Bautista.

Staff believes the work could take four to five months and will require the pier to be closed, Bautista said, adding that the city will continue to assess ways to shorten the construction period while keeping the project within budget. Staff contacted the business owners at the pier and say they will ensure there is ample notice and information about all required closures.

On Jan. 14, 2021, a combination of high tides and large waves damaged a 40-foot section of the pier’s west-facing deck and concrete railing. The city’s Public Works Engineering Division assessed the pier damage and discovered the section of the pier running parallel to the shoreline, where the railing was broken from the pier deck, needed to be fenced off and closed to the public. The report also noted that railing sections identified as severely damaged that are within the area of the pier running perpendicular to the shoreline must be repaired within a year, and the majority of railings needed to be replaced within five to 10 years.

The city sought funding through the state and the Wildlife Conservation Board, Bautista said. The state gave $500,000 to repair the 40-foot fallen pier railing section and those railing sections deemed severely damaged, Bautista said. But the city was not awarded funds through the Wildlife Conservation Board.

After further engineering assessment was done by the city’s consultant for this project, GHD Inc., the city believed there may be a cost and time savings to replacing all the pier railings at this time rather than replacing the needed railings now and then returning in the next five years to replace more of the railings, Bautista said.

Staff reached out to Coastal Conservancy staff to apply for funding replacement of all the railings, Bautista said. Coastal Conservancy has long been a supporter of the Pacifica pier helping with maintenance and upgrades over the pier’s lifetime as they recognize the pier provides a unique free coastal experience. Coastal Conservancy staff verbally agreed to $260,000 in construction funding, and official  approval is expected in May, Bautista said.

In order to be eligible for this funding, the city must pass a resolution approving the application for funding, stating the city has sufficient funds to complete and maintain the project and authorize the city manager to negotiate and execute all agreements to comply with the grant,

Bautista said. The city manager recommends adopting the resolution to initiate the process to receive the $260,000 to repair the pier, Bautista said.

Jane Northrop has covered Pacifica for the Pacifica Tribune since 1996. She has won first place John Swett Awards from the California Teachers Association for her coverage of education.

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