As a large-scale, $4.5 million restoration project presses on, the historic boardwalk at Mission Beach will be dominated by construction crews and cones at least through Memorial Day, city leaders confirm.
With backhoes in tow, construction crews are currently replacing the iconic boardwalk, seawall and splash wall along Ocean Front Walk near Belmont Park – a neighborhood improvement project with intentions to restore the beachside landmark to how it looked when it was first constructed in the 1920s. This vintage photograph shows the bustling boardwalk in the mid-1950s.
According to San Diego city leaders, the extensive work is expected to be finished by May 30 – Memorial Day, and the unofficial start of the summer season.
Work first began on the boardwalk after summer 2015.
On Wednesday, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and San Diego City Councilmember Lorie Zapf toured the construction site and gave some updates on the massive coastal undertaking, which is part of a long-term effort to improve the area for years to come.
“Reconstructing the boardwalk is good for our beach neighborhoods, good for our tourism economy and good for preserving a piece of San Diego history,” Faulconer said. “This is an example of how we're building our better future by investing in neighborhoods throughout the city.”
The City of San Diego posted some photos of the coastal construction on Twitter during the mayor's tour:
also took to Twitter to talk about the project:Faulconer
Mission Beach visitors and residents say the boardwalk area was deteriorating, and the improvement project is much-needed.
“It’s just amazing. The walls are splitting, they’re falling apart,” Mission Beach visitor Keith Johnson told NBC 7. “I was pleasantly surprised when I saw them at least start to put some money into the beachfront here.”
Some local business owners along the boardwalk say improvements to the area will likely bring more tourists to the beach, and customers to their shops and restaurants. Ocean Front Walk is also home to many vacation homes.
“That’s going to give it a good look over here,” said Mike Soltan, owner of Kojack’s Restaurant. “The wall has been there for years and years, and as of right now, I think that’s going to help business; it’s going to improve the area. It’s going to be great. I think they did a good job.”
For now, the popular pathway used daily by bicyclists, joggers and those casually strolling, remains tight. It is difficult to walk along parts of the boardwalk, as the path is more narrow than ever because portions are closed off by construction crews.
The shorterm inconveniences, however, will not outweigh the bigger picture, according to city leaders.
“Restoring the infrastructure of one of San Diego's most precious resources is greatly needed and will be appreciated by all,” Zapf added.