Pismo Pier to re­open much sooner than ex­pected, for much less than bud­geted

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Local - BY KAYTLYN LES­LIE [email protected]­bune­news.com Kaytlyn Les­lie: 805-781-7928, @kaytylesli­e

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.)

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.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP dmid­dle­[email protected]­bune­news.com

As seen from the rooftop deck at the Inn at Pismo on Fri­day, work on the Pismo Beach Pier is rapidly pro­gress­ing and the Pier will open sev­eral months ahead of sched­ule.

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