The long-awaited renovation of the 1,535-foot-long Ventura Pier will begin this week.
To strengthen the pier against future storms, the $1.6-million project will include replacing the existing wood pilings with steel.
The end of the pier will be reconfigured to include a 4,600-square-foot octagon deck, extending 80 feet beyond the existing end point, with a gradual incline to 4 feet above the current deck height. Raising the deck height should minimize damage from big waves, officials say. The work is expected to take six months.
The City Council approved the building contract with Cushman Contracting of Santa Barbara in April. Recommendations for improving the pier came from the Pier Into the Future Committee, and funding for the project comes from state grants and insurance funds.
Originally built in 1872, the pier was once a bustling shipping terminus for lima bean and lemon exports. In recent times it has transformed into a recreational pier.
Over the years, it has been damaged several times, including during a storm in 1995 that clipped off 420 feet of the structure. The pier was reinforced two years later, only to be damaged again in 1998 by El Nino-driven storms.
This prompted the latest rebuilding project.
Other improvements to the pier will include more benches, lights, fish-cleaning sinks and an opening in the deck for viewing the ocean below.
The pier will remain open during construction.