2007 Structural Report Documents Deterioration of Municipal Pier

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Date: May 23, 2007
Contact: Lynn Cullivan, 415-561-7006

Large “Live Loads” Determined a Safety Hazard for 78-Year-Old Concrete Landmark


SF Maritime National Historical Park Will Gate 1400-Foot Pier to Prevent Overloading


San Francisco – A March 2007 engineering report, funded for San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park by the City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Works (DPW), identified extensive deterioration in the Park’s landmark Municipal Pier. Specifically, the study reported that, over the last 78 years, the maximum allowable “live load” capacity of the structure has fallen from 150 to 50 pounds per square foot. In response to the study’s findings, to protect the structure and assure visitor safety, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park will install a gate at the Pier’s entrance, and restrict visitation during large public events.


Municipal Pier will remain open for everyday public use, such as fishing or strolling. Additional engineering studies are planned and, until Municipal Pier is repaired, further use restrictions are possible. The new gate will be installed by the end of June, 2007.


“Gating Municipal Pier will allow the Park to protect public safety during special events, and still maintain traditional recreational uses in the Historic District,” said park superintendent Kate Richardson. “The National Park Service is grateful to the City of San Francisco for funding the preliminary assessment,” Richardson added.


The report also concluded that the historic Pier will likely not resist large lateral loads, and will incur significant damage during a seismic event.


Constructed in 1929, the Pier is a 60-foot wide, 1400-foot long crescent-shaped structure

composed of a reinforced concrete deck supported by 684 concrete-encased timber pilings. A central feature of the Pier is a wave baffling system located near the centerline, and running the length of the structure. Municipal Pier shields San Francisco’s northern waterfront, the shoreline and structures of the Aquatic Park Historic District, the Park’s fleet of NHL vessels moored at Hyde Street Pier, from excessive wave action and tidal currents.


Although alternatives analysis and cost estimates are still in progress, it is clear that the price tag to restore Municipal Pier will far exceed the Park’s budget.


“We are seeking to build a coalition of federal, state and local agencies to fund the rehabilitation of Municipal Pier,” Superintendent Richardson said. “The Park has already met with representatives from the City of San Francisco, the California State Coastal Conservancy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”


“It’s an expensive project,” said Richardson, “but losing this piece of our local and national heritage would be an even bigger price to pay.”

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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