Berkeley Pier

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The gap between active and abandoned sections of the Berkeley Pier, viewed from the shoreline
Fishing and crabbing were popular activities on the pier prior to its closing July, 2015
View from the deck of the pier westward
The barrier at the end of the pier. The old defunct pier section is visible through the barrier.
View of the defunct, inaccessible section from the barrier
Remnants of the original length of the Berkeley Pier

The Berkeley Pier is in Berkeley, California. When constructed, the pier extended 3.5 miles (5.6 km)[citation needed] into San Francisco Bay from the end of University Avenue. Due to extensive filling of the bay and the creation of the Berkeley Marina, it presently extends only 2.5 miles (4.0 km). Only the first 3,000 feet (910 m) were maintained and open to the public. In July, 2015 the entrance to the pier was fenced off and access was forbidden due to safety concerns after severe weathering and corrosion was discovered in the concrete and iron rebar supporting the pier.[1][2]


In the mid-19th century, two private wharves were built along the Berkeley waterfront. One was located at the foot of Addison Street one block south of University Avenue and served the Standard Soap Company, a major regional soap-making factory. The other, the Jacobs and Heywood Wharf, was located several blocks north of University Avenue at the foot of Delaware Street, used as a general freight transshipment point.

In 1909, the City built a municipal wharf at the foot of University Avenue.[3] This pier was intended for a commuter ferry which never materialized, and the pier was instead used mainly for freight. Starting in 1926, the Golden Gate Ferry Company, a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific railroad, began construction of the Berkeley Pier. It was also built out from the foot of University Avenue about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) into the Bay (measured from the original shoreline). On June 16, 1927, auto ferry service began [4] [5]between the Berkeley Pier and the Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco, a pier shared with the Sausalito ferry.[6] Between 1926 and 1937, it served as an integral part of the Lincoln Highway (the first road across America), and then subsequently U.S. Route 40. A two-lane road ran the entire length to a ferry dock at the end of the pier. The ferry line shut down in 1939 approximately two years after the Bay Bridge opened. The portion of the pier closest to shore was converted to recreational use, mainly fishing.[7] The remaining portion of the pier was left to decay, and is still visible, but inaccessible due to a barrier. There is a gap of about fifty feet at the end of the current pier to allow the passage of small boats. In 2007, proposals were considered to start a new ferry service using a terminal near the pier.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Historic Berkeley Pier Closes Due To Structural Damage". Retrieved 2015-11-17. 
  2. ^ Berkeley Daily Planet, Berkeley California. "Deteriorating Berkeley Pier May Need Major, Costly Repairs. Category: Page One from The Berkeley Daily Planet". Retrieved 2015-11-17. 
  3. ^ Third Annual Report of the City Manager, 1925-26, City of Berkeley, p.31
  4. ^ Fourth Annual Report of the City Manager, 1926-27, City of Berkeley, p.16
  5. ^ Berkeley Daily Gazette, May 7, 1927
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Pier Fishing in California - Berkeley Pier". Retrieved 2015-11-17. 
  8. ^ San Francisco Chronicle "BERKELEY / Public hearing on new ferry terminals" 5 3 2007" recovered through EBBSCO's Australia New Zealand Reference Centre"

External links[edit]

37°51′46″N 122°19′03″W / 37.86283°N 122.3176°W / 37.86283; -122.3176Coordinates: 37°51′46″N 122°19′03″W / 37.86283°N 122.3176°W / 37.86283; -122.3176