Pier Closure Update

Pier remains closed. Photos by Patricia Schallert

The iconic Ventura Pier, a cherished local landmark, has faced unprecedented challenges in the last year, leading to its closure to the public in January 2023. The closure was necessitated by significant storm damage that raised serious safety concerns. Despite setbacks, the City of Ventura has been unwavering in its commitment to address the damage and secure the pier’s long-term integrity.

In response to the severity of damage caused by winter storms and high surf, the City declared a local state of emergency to expedite disaster response and seek emergency funding from the state to aid in the recovery process. The City Council officially ratified the local state of emergency on January 9, 2024.

The reopening of the Ventura Pier, initially scheduled for March, has been postponed to the summer of 2024 due to additional damage caused by heavy surf in December 2023. The high surf, plus winter storm events from January 2023, dislodged support pilings, braces, and brackets, necessitating extensive repairs and causing a delay in the reopening date.

Last year’s damage involved a total of 34 damaged and 20 dislodged piles, with the recent inspection revealing 19 missing or damaged timber piles, 20 dislodged piles, and 62 damaged or missing braces. The Ventura City Council members recently approved a $1.75 million agreement with Jilk Heavy Construction Inc. to address the December damages, adding to the $1.45 million allocated for last year’s repairs. The comprehensive repair cost amounts to $3.2 million, with the city expecting approximately $1.58 million in reimbursements, including support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the California Disaster Assistance Act, and the Ventura County Community Foundation.

Recently, the City of Ventura received a $40,000 donation from Pier Into the Future to help support restoration efforts. Read the press release.

The Ventura Pier, formerly known as the Ventura Wharf and the San Buenaventura Wharf, is a wooden pier. The pier is the oldest pier in the state and is designated as Ventura Historic Landmark No. 20.

Since 1872, the Ventura Pier has stood as a symbol of the region’s rich history and natural resources. Once the cornerstone of Ventura County’s agricultural, construction and oil trade, today the Ventura Pier is a favorite attraction for fishing, picnics, sunset strolls and beautiful views.

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