The Coast News Group
Scaffolding is place to repair the concrete bridge that leads to the pier. The bridge was built in 1926. Photo by Promise Yee
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Pier bridge repairs underway in O’side

OCEANSIDE — In addition to the annual replacement of steel braces under the pier, the concrete bridge from Pacific Street to the pier boardwalk is being repaired.

The twin bridge structure, built in 1926, is seeing spalled areas where salt water has worked its way into cracks, and caused areas of the concrete structure to expand and fall off.

Even more threatening to the bridge is salt water reaching the steel rebar framing inside and causing rust.

“We’ve been watching it for a while, it’s 90 years old,” Kiel Koger, Oceanside public works division manager, said.

Efforts are underway to identify damaged areas, removed spalled concrete and replace it.

A concrete contractor and a hired structural engineer will work on repairs for the next six months. Visual examination and sounding tests will be done to identify distressed areas.

“The contractor will then remove all loose and spalled concrete, clean exposed surfaces, apply a rust inhibitor to prevent corroding of rebar, and apply a patch material to match the texture and color of the existing structure,” Koger said.

Scaffolding is in place under the northwest quadrant of the bridge where work began on Aug. 10. Each quadrant is expected to take about six weeks to test and repair. The total cost of repairs is not known.

“We do not currently know the actual extent of the maintenance needs, so staff will continue to assess and monitor the situation as the contractor works,” Koger said.

The bridge will remain open during work, on at least one side of the double bridge structure.

Currently the main entrance to the lifeguard headquarters beneath the bridge is closed, due to work. Lifeguards can be reached at the south entrance to the headquarters.

The patching project will keep the bridge sound until the city can replace it.

Koger said when the time comes to rebuild the bridge it will go through a design process.

“It’s off in the future,” Koger said.

The cost to tear down and rebuild the bridge is estimated at $10 million. There are not identified funds for the rehabilitation project.

Annual work to replace 133 of the pier’s 2,000 steel braces began the same day as the bridge work. Brace replacements are expected to be completed in three months. The concurrent projects are being done by two different companies.