Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla urged the Biden administration to move forward with replacement of San Francisco’s historic Aquatic Park Pier, which is closed indefinitely after it was rendered structurally unsound.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young, the senators urged funding for the project and a long-term plan to rebuild the pier and reopen public access as soon as possible. Currently, the National Park Service is allocating funds for repair of the nearby Hyde Street Pier and its assets.
"Prior to its closure to the public, the pier served over 4.2 million visitors annually, and we cannot accept permanent public closure of this historic landmark,” the senators wrote.
Built in 1933, the Aquatic Park Pier—also called Muni pier—was a counted-on destination for swimmers and fishermen on the north side of town, and also anchors a national historic district adjacent to Fisherman's Wharf. Last year, the National Park Service closed it to the public after finding that an earthquake last November rendered it structurally unsound.
In addition to drawing fishers, boaters and tourists, the pier serves as a breakwater in partially absorbing tides and pacifying the water to allow for swimming.
Supervisors Catherine Stefani and Aaron Peskin, along with state Sen. Scott Wiener, led a rally in support of the historic pier in early December. Padilla had requested $15 million to kick-start the replacement, which could top $100 million.
The letter emphasizes the importance of the pier as a destination for both locals and visitors, as well as its role in protecting the coastline.
Peskin, who is also a regular denizen of the cove in the park, cheered on the senators.
“Supervisor Stefani and I are delighted and hopeful,” Peskin said.
Mike Ege can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org