Fishing pier at Berkeley Marina closed to public indefinitely

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Kevin Cheung/Staff

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The fishing pier at the Berkeley Marina was closed off Wednesday because of structural problems.

City Manager Christine Daniel in a Thursday memo to Berkeley City Council cited “considerable structural damage to the concrete decking and support system of the pier” as a reason for its closure. The pier will remain closed to all pedestrian and vehicular traffic “until further testing and repairs can be made.”

According to the memo, city staff were aware of structural damage prior to the Fourth of July fireworks show at the marina and arranged to rent a barge at a cost of $7,900 — rather than driving heavy trucks onto the pier — from which they could launch the fireworks.

City staff have notified businesses at the marina, according to the memo, and the LED lamps on the pier will remain operational at night for boat-navigation-safety purposes.

Recreational fishermen who regularly use the pier will have to relocate while repairs are being made. Some said they will go to San Francisco, while others will go to Point Pinole and San Leandro to continue fishing.

Patty Donald, founder and program coordinator of the marina’s Shorebird Nature Center, said that any construction will likely have to take into account the migratory birds that live around the marina.

Built in the 1920s, the 3-mile-long pier was intended for cars to access ferries to San Francisco. Construction of the Bay Bridge led to the shortening of the pier to its present length of 3,000 feet.

The pier has undergone numerous renovations and repairs in the past. After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, Berkeley City Council granted $700,000 to a local firm to repair the pier.

City spokesperson Matthai Chakko said the city has already conducted a preliminary analysis and will be conducting a more detailed investigation.

Contact Abdullah Mirza at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @mirza_abd.