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The Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, which has been closed to the public for maintenance since early December, is set to re-open in early February. According to Jim Bostian, who has managed the pier for the past 40 years, all that remains to be done is the final inspection by the City of San Diego.

Bostian said storm damage in late November prompted the pier closure this time around, but repairs to the pier have been ongoing since its debut in 1927, when it was introduced to the public as "Pickering's Pleasure Pier."

Perhaps the most severe damage occurred on January 27, 1983, when a storm ripped away 240 feet of the pier. When the city replaced the missing section in 1987, the deck occupied by the Crystal Pier Hotel was reinforced and widened.

Although Bostian and his crew maintain an inventory of smaller replacement parts, he says the pilings and larger items "are not the kind of thing you can pick up at Home Depot." All the pilings and other wooden elements of the pier have to be non-creosote, green treated lumber, supplied only by wholesale lumber purveyors.

It remains unclear when city inspectors will sign off on the completed project, and Bostian speculated that they could be a bit behind because of the City's tightening budget.

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