OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The bridge to Oceanside’s pier will soon be demolished and rebuilt. The bridge is painted white and officially named the Pier View Way Bridge. This access bridge to the pier was designed in 1926 and completed in 1927, making it 96 years old.
The city said the bridge is in need of major repairs, but replacing the nearly century-old bridge was more of a cost-effective option.
“It’s iconic, this is a hub to downtown tourism,” the City of Oceanside’s Senior Civil Engineer Darra Woods said. “The facility is almost 100 years old, we’ve been maintaining it for decades, but it’s really approached its end of its surface life, to get almost 100 years is fantastic, a new facility will get another 75-100 years.”
The plan is to tear down the old bridge and build a new one, but with its original appearance from its original design in the 1920s. That bridge was made of gray concrete.
Woods said the white-textured surface the bridge currently boasts was added on later and was not the original design. This new bridge will restore it back to its original design from the 1920s.
Oceanside’s lifeguards are headquartered underneath the bridge. This construction will redesign them a new facility, just as it was in the 1920s. However, the city also plans to build another facility for the lifeguards near where the Tin Fish restaurant is between the bridge.
Woods said since that facility is not attached to the bridge, they plan to give it a more modern look. The current lifeguard headquarters used to be a dining hall until the 80s.
The city said if the bridge was built in today’s economy, the construction of the bridge alone is expected to be around $40 million. This does not include funding for permits and reports.
The city said the money for the bridge will come from a mixture of taxpayer funding, grants and bonds, including funds from Measure X. That was a ballot initiative in 2018 that increased Oceanside’s sales tax one-half cent for a period for seven years, beginning on April 1, 2019.
FOX 5 talked to Oceanside residents near the bridge Tuesday, saying they are used to change and reconstruction along Pacific Street, as they pointed toward the newly built hotels and restaurants lining the oceanfront property.
Only 18 lifeguard staff members can work out of the current headquarters. However, the lifeguards have about 32 staff currently, with plans to have about 50 staff on any one given day in the near future.
“They have run out of space in their current headquarters, so that new lifeguard support facility will house current staffing, overflow, operations as well as future staffing operations,” Woods added.
The next phase of the project will be getting environmental clearance and permits over the next two years. Then, demolition is still a couple of years away after that.