Citing its poor state of condition — “[the pier] is incrementally deteriorating” — the National Park Service quietly and abruptly closed SF’s “Muni Pier” on October 27… with no plans of reopening it anytime soon.
Built in 1929, SF’s Municipal Pier, also known as the “Muni Pier,” was initially created as a way to protect the Aquatic Park Cove and allow city residents a place to swim and recreate. But in 2022, the pier, which is located on Army Quartermaster’s Pier at the northwest corner of Fort Mason, has seen far better days. And the 1,400-foot walkway is in desperate need of major repair, according to the National Parks Service (NPS).
“There’s been incremental deterioration over time, we know that,” said Dale Dualan, the maritime park’s public information officer to the Chronicle. The recent 5.1-magnitude tremor that occurred near San Jose at the end of October — the strongest Bay Area earthquake in over eight years — warranted an assessment of the pier.
Alas, after the walkway was surveyed, NPS officials deemed it unsafe for public use.
“The earthquake added to the urgency,” Dualan continued on the decision as to declare the pier off-limits for public use.
Although originally built with strong concrete, which incorporated an innovative baffle system that functioned to mitigate the effects of the bay currents on the cove, decades of battering from waves and winds have weakened it. That… and the pier was also seriously damaged when a fire engine rammed into it on February 3, 1953, due to heavy fog conditions.
On October 27, NPS closed the pier “until further notice due to safety concerns.”
“After a safety review with the U.S. Public Health Service, it was determined that the deterioration of Municipal Pier in Aquatic Park Cove is unsafe for public use,” reads an alert from NPS. “Municipal Pier will remain closed until permanent, long-term repairs can be made.”
The newspaper noted that needed repairs could cost as much as $100M to complete.
“We can propose these projects to have them repaired but we at the local level don’t get to make that decision,” Dualan continued. “… It’s likely it won’t reopen until we get permanent long-term fixes in place.”
Dulan later added that fixing the pier is “definitely a high priority” for NPS, and it’s a notable “historic asset” for San Francisco.
Photo: Courtesy of Aquatic Park and Pier Project