BERKELEY (BCN) — The Berkeley Municipal Fishing Pier was closed to the public on Wednesday and city officials don’t know when it might reopen.
The closure comes after city officials began an investigation into structural damage to the pier’s concrete decking and support system, Berkeley City Manager Christine Daniel announced Thursday in a letter to the Mayor and the City Council.
City staff first noticed damage to the pier earlier in July prior to a Fourth of July celebration that took place on the Berkeley Waterfront, according to Daniel.
Following the discovery, city officials appointed IDA Structural Engineering Inc., an Oakland-based structural engineering consulting firm, to advise the city on the feasibility of using heavy trucks on the Pier to produce the holiday fireworks show, Daniel said.
IDA examined the underside of the Pier and found evidence of significant concrete spalling and badly corroded structural rebar. The city then city banned all vehicular access to the Pier, according to Daniel.
In an effort to try and avoid canceling the Fourth of July celebration, city staff arranged for the fireworks to be set off from a barge brought over from San Francisco and anchored 400 feet from the Pier. The total price of the last-minute arrangements cost the city $7,990, Daniel said.
Following the holiday, the pier remained open to pedestrians.
After further investigation and with advice from IDA, the city closed the pier to all pedestrian and vehicular traffic until further testing and repairs can be made, Daniel said.
City staff is currently working with IDA on possible ways to repair portions of the Pier and the potential costs, Daniel said.
The city has placed signs and put up fences at the pier. Additionally, notifications have been sent to business near the Berkeley Waterfront, according to Daniel.
LED lamps on the pier will continue to operate at night for boat navigation safety purposes, Daniel said.