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Merchants Eager For Start To $8M Santa Monica Pier Upgrade

Santa Monica Pier
This aerial photograph shows the designated areas of the Santa Monica Pier that will undergo reconstruction as part of an $8 million renovation project. (courtesy City of Santa Monica

SANTA MONICA ( — Business owners along the Santa Monica Pier are urging the City Council to determine a start date for a yearlong replacement project.

KNX 1070's Pete Demetriou reports city officials have warned the $8 million project will require 12 months of construction.

Pier upgrade worries local merchants

The City Council on Jan. 22 selected a contractor to oversee the Santa Monica Municipal Pier Replacement Project, which seeks to improve the stability of the underpinnings of a 360-foot long by 36-foot wide section of the Pier from the high tide mark extending to the ocean.

Officials chose to award the project to California-based Meek Shea, Joint Venture after a study found existing timber structure in place since the 1920s along both underwater and above water sections of the Pier is deteriorating.

The study recommended that the western edge of the Pier be completely removed and replaced with a new pier consisting of concrete piles, concrete pile caps, timber stringers, and timber decking.

The city has acknowledged that the project "will result in construction impacts to the adjacent businesses," but so far officials have only engaged in "ongoing discussions" with tenants.

Merchants who rely on tourist dollars year-round are worried about how much revenue they may lose if the construction goes through the extended summer season.

Will, who works at a bike rental shop on the Pier, said there are multiple question marks surrounding the project.

"It's timing, when are we gonna do it, where are they gonna store the equipment, is it gonna affect tourism?" he said.

Irwin Villalobos, one of the managers of Pier Burgers, said any clue on a timeline would benefit everyone.

"We wanna know how we're supposed to run operations," Villalobos said. "If we have something that's in the future, it'd be nice if we knew, 'Hey, are we gonna be prepared for it or not?'".

It remained unclear when the City Council would determine a start date.

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