Demolition of Storm-Damaged Historical Pier Begins in Santa Cruz County

Crews in California’s Santa Cruz County began the demolition of a landmark pier on Monday, March 20, after a powerful storm surge severely weakened it in early January.

Footage posted to Facebook shows removal equipment at Seacliff State Beach pier on Monday. According to state park employees, the demolition process will take about six weeks to complete.

On February 17, California State Parks announced the demolition of the pier as the storm destroyed almost half the pier and campground area. A farewell memorial was hosted by local officials, where volunteers were invited to share memories of the pier.

Monday’s efforts were primarily focused on clearing debris and removing some of the memorial benches still attached to the pier, along with the sky-blue lifeguard tower, which leaned at a precarious angle as the deck beneath it sagged, local media reported. The benches will be stored in a safe location until the families that donated them can be contacted, the report said.

According to reports, the pier was built in 1930 as an attachment to the SS Palo Alto, a WWI-era cement tanker that was intentionally grounded on the park’s shore. Credit: California State Parks via Storyful