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BEACH / SOUTH LAGUNA

Aliso Pier to Come Down; Safety Cited

September 16, 1998

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to demolish Aliso Pier, which has been closed since March when El Nino storms cracked its concrete pilings and left it unstable.

Officials said they have no choice, because the pier is a hazard to beach-goers.

"This is a safety issue as well as a liability issue for the county," said Supervisor Tom Wilson, who represents the area. "Getting it torn down is the first step. Then we are going see what funding is available to build a new pier."

The cost of a new pier is estimated to be as much as $5 million.

An engineering report completed in the spring found that one-fourth of the pier's pilings are cracked or otherwise damaged. At least three pilings have major problems with exposed steel corrosion that further weakens the structure.

The pier, which has a diamond-shaped fishing area at the end, was built in 1971. Surf as high as 20 feet pounded the pier through last winter and spring. Officials closed it after noticing that the pier swayed when hit by big waves.

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