Photos: Protecting a Malibu Treasure

Work continued into the second week of November on the historic Malibu Pier, which was being shored up in time for predicted El Niño wave action this coming winter.

The California State Parks project, which will cost an estimated $4.6 million out of the State of California’s deferred maintenance funds, will later include the replacement of about 59 pilings on the 80-year-old pier. The piling replacement, said State Parks Angeles District Superintendent Craig Sap, could start as early as late December 2015.

Current work includes the laying down of four steel columns, which are essentially four-ton steel girders that sit on the deck of the pier and hold it together, dispersing the weight of the pier onto areas where there is more support from pilings.

One section of the pier, which had been sectioned off from foot and vehicle traffic since a storm last August knocked 13 pilings from the pier, was discovered to be even less structurally secure than initially imagined, according to Pier Concessionaire Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner.

“They were down to one piling support in that deficient area,” Wagner said. “That’s 95-feet long.”

While the repairs are designed to make the pier more sound when it comes to forceful water and debris from coming storms, there is one area where the work could put the pier into more danger.


The beams, which lay diagonally across the pier, seem to block off access for emergency vehicles that would need to get to the end of the pier in case of a fire, an observation also made by Wagner.

“We still have no salt water draft pump or piping for fire suppression,” Wagner, a licensed fire marshal, said. So until the pilings are replaced, the pier will rely on freshwater (“sweetwater”) gravity-powered pumps to take water to the end of the pier, with firefighters carrying hoses on foot from the land side, a trek of about 450 feet.

Related Articles


Latest Articles

%d bloggers like this: