Good news, Pismo Beach — the pier might be opening much sooner than expected. Even more surprising? The massive renovation project is under budget, too.
“We promised the community when we broke ground that we would be ahead of schedule and under budget,” City Manager Jim Lewis said. “And I think we’ve delivered.”
Lewis said the Pier will reopen on Oct. 20, just in time for the annual Clam Festival. The parade during that event will even end at the Pier, he said.
The Pismo Beach Pier is the 18th longest in California at 1,200 feet. (It used to be much longer, but an El Niño storm in 1983 washed out much of the structure, and it was rebuilt at its present length.)
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It closed in March 2017 as part of a $8.7 million overhaul of the aging structure. At the time, city officials said there were wooden boards on the structure that had not been replaced since the Pier was built in 1928, while many of the wooden pilings and supports had eroded underwater.
Original estimates had the phased project fully completed by July 2019, but Lewis said a good team and focus on completing the project more efficiently will have it opening eight months ahead of schedule.
“When you have good people and treat them well and pay them well, this is what happens,” Lewis said. “It’s solid, it’s good, it’s innovative. We just found better ways to make it tighter.”
The project will also come in “a couple hundred thousand dollars under budget,” Lewis said, though the payments have not yet been finalized so he could not provide a definite final cost.
Those extra funds could perhaps go toward other local beautification projects, he said, noting the planned Pier Plaza redesign that will overhaul the area surrounding the pier.
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