H-CENTRAL COAST

Jul 9, 2013 7:50 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News

A closer look at Central Coast piers

The Central Coast is home to almost a dozen piers, all of which are owned and operated by different cities or organizations.

The Port San Luis Harbor District owns and operates both the Harford pier and the Avila Beach pier, and maintenance on the two piers does not come cheap. The Harbor District recently received a grant of over $640,000 to do some routine maintenance on the Harford pier.

However, every pier is different. The Harford pier is one of only two piers on the Central Coast that allows vehicles to drive on it, which means there are more repairs needed every year.

The Harford and Avila piers receive regular maintenance, but major reconstruction, such as pilings and decks, is done every 15 years.

"We do allow vehicles on the pier, so that does have a negative impact on the wear and tear on the pier, where the Avila pier is strictly a pedestrian pier, so that gives it a little more longevity than you would get on a pier that allows vehicles," said Loch Dreizler, Port San Luis Facilities Manager.

The iconic Pismo Beach pier is funded by the city, so it receives around $100,000 a year. That money goes to any projects or repairs needed, but inspections of the pier are done once every four to five years. After the inspection is completed, the city council votes on how much money to allot to the pier maintenance.

The city of Morro Bay owns several piers, but its two largest ones are maintained by the harbor department on a regular basis. The "South T" pier was destroyed in a fire in the 1980s but was rebuilt shortly afterwards.

Most of the piers on the Central Coast have a routine maintenance program.

The Cayucos pier has not received major maintenance for decades, but was inspected in 2009 by Shoreline Engineering. The seaward half of Cayucos pier will remain closed until the pier is fixed or deemed safe for public use. That project will cost roughly $2.1 million.

The piers are an important part of tourism on the Central Coast, and no one wants to see their favorite beach town without its famous pier.

"It is quite an attraction for visitors and I think that's probably the most important reason to have the piers maintained," said Dreizler.

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