Repairs start on storm-battered Avila Beach pier

clambert@thetribunenews.comMarch 3, 2014 

A gate and large yellow “Keep Out” sign prevented visitors from walking on the pier in Avila Beach on Monday, as Port San Luis Harbor employees assessed damage caused by strong waves over the weekend and started repairs.

Workers were replacing deck boards that had come loose when waves battered the bottom of the pier. An electrical conduit that had pulled apart was also fixed.

A coupling holding together sections of a steel pipe that transports water to the end of the pier will likely be fixed Tuesday morning. 

Harbor Manager Steve McGrath said the pier should be reopened by the weekend. A deck landing located below the pier at its far end will remain closed until the harbor district receives some special fiberglass and steel materials to repair a railing.

McGrath estimated the total cost of repairs at about $15,000, though that amount could change.

The present-day Avila Beach pier was originally constructed in 1908 by San Luis Obispo County.

Now 1,685 feet long, it has been repaired after severe storms – including in 1983, when one of the strongest El Nino events in California history hammered the coastline and caused a portion of the piers in Avila Beach and Pismo Beach to collapse.

That storm also destroyed the 2,700-foot-long wooden Unocal Pier, which was replaced with a steel-and-concrete structure in 1984. It became the Cal Poly Pier in 2001.

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