SAN DIEGO — The Ocean Beach Pier has remained closed for a few months due to storm damage and high surf in January.

The city said the pier will remain closed until the damage can be assessed safely after the storm season has passed. Then, a timeline for reopening will be determined.

“It’s been a long while since I’ve seen the ocean,” said Tom Cassel, visiting from Chicago.

People that visit the Ocean Beach pier are limited in how far they can walk. Visitors can walk to the gate where it is locked, but cannot enter past that point.

“What did you make of it when you came out here, saw the locks on the gate?” FOX 5 asked.

“It’s too bad, we were supposed to go check out the check-out the café at the end of the pier. Thought it would be a nice place to see the rest of the coast here,” Cassel said.

Officials said the fragile pier is a safety concern. Nicholas Roberts, another visitor, was hoping for a little escape before heading home to Orange County.

Roberts, said, “Just going out into the middle of the water, feels nice, get away from the sounds of the city a little bit.”

The locks have not stopped some from at least trying to get on the pier.

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said someone did cut the locks one night, but says the City of San Diego Park and Recreation department replaced them.

The department said lifeguards have not seen anyone on the pier during the daytime. The city council has approved the Ocean Beach Pier Replacement Project. The city created the OB Taskforce to review and recommend the best plan for the OB Pier.

On Friday, city workers walked the pier to assess the it’s longevity after years of damage from storms and high surf.

Visitors like Roberts look forward to walking the pier again.

“San Diego is beautiful city and we are trying to move out here, so hopefully call her home someday,” Roberts said.

Construction is expected to start in 2026 and is estimated to cost between $40 and $60 million, according to the September city council meeting. Funding for the pier is still in question.

The city communications office added, the replacement project “is still in the preliminary engineering/planning phase. This phase aims to develop the full scope of a preferred pier replacement alternative(s). This alternative(s) will address community interest, climate change and be competitive for federal and state grant opportunities.”

The preliminary engineering/planning phase is anticipated to be complete by the fall of 2023. After the preferred pier replacement alternative(s) is fully scoped, the communications office says “a complete project delivery schedule and detailed total project cost estimate will be prepared.”