Work to stabilize Cayucos Pier set to start Monday

ktanner@thetribunenews.comDecember 11, 2013 

Most of the aging, rickety Cayucos Pier will be off-limits to the public for quite a while, as work to temporarily stabilize the structure begins in earnest Monday.

Crews began delivering supplies Wednesday, according to Machelle Vieux, deputy director of county General Services.

The outer third or so of the pier was fenced off July 5 after an inspection determined missing and unstable support pilings made it unsafe.

Crews will put up new safety fencing and then begin attaching “steel beams and timber to the deck, going through to the good piles” to make the wobbly structure sturdier, Vieux said, working from “shore side to seaside.”

The beams will lie across the current deck surface, which is another safety concern keeping the pier closed. Beams will stretch from one good pile to another, Vieux said, “spanning the area of the bad pilings. Some beams will be parallel to the pier, some are angled, because in some areas, we don’t have a whole lot to work with.”

Vieux said there’s a 60-day work schedule, weather permitting, for the interim fix. The temporary additions, which can only be done above the waterline, are designed to keep the iconic pier intact through winter storms.

T. Simons of Nipomo has the $247,000 contract for the work. Associated Pacific of Morro Bay is sub-contracting.

A permanent fix for the pier — which will require upwards of 50 new pilings — will cost in the neighborhood of $2 million or more, Vieux said, adding that Curtis Black, deputy director of county parks, is on the hunt for that funding.

Black said a long-term fix includes driving piles into the ocean floor, additional permanent connections between the pilings, cross-bracing under the pier, T-straps, and angled batter pilings that splay out from the bottom of the pier’s deck into the ocean floor.

After the restoration is done, the pier “absolutely would be stronger than it’s ever been,” Black said. “But first, we need to get it stabilized,” hopefully before the big storms hit.

While the state owns the pier, the county is responsible for maintenance because of a cooperative contract between the two governmental entities.

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