CAPITOLA, Calif. (KRON) — Nearly nine months have passed since powerful winter storms and massive ocean waves split the Capitola Wharf in half.

Surfers were out catching much smaller waves on Monday when a welcomed sight appeared next to the broken wharf. Construction crews began staging and setting up machinery.

Many locals wondered when they would be able to walk and fish along the wharf again. The good news is, construction for rebuilding the iconic wharf is scheduled to begin next week.

Powerful waves batter the Capitola Wharf after the storm destroyed a section of the structure on Jan. 5, 2023, in Capitola, Calif. (Shmuel Thaler / Santa Cruz Sentinel via AP)

Jessica Kahn, Capitola Public Works Director, said there was no way to fast-track the work. “For a project like this, in the Pacific Ocean, there are a lot of permits involved. There’s a lot of structural calculations that have to be done,” Kahn said.

Kahn said if everything goes as planned, and no future winter storms change things, the wharf will be fully repaired and re-opened by the end of summer 2024.

The price tag for repairs and reopening is estimated at $7.9 million. In January, President Biden toured damages around the beach town and pledged federal dollars for rebuilding. State and federal grant money will cover the $7.9 million construction effort.

The Capitola Wharf in Captiola, California was split in half on Jan. 5, 2023. (Image courtesy Santa Cruz County)

Everyone is ready to see Capitola center’s piece standing strong again. Chuck Hammers, owner of Pizza My Heart in Capitola, said, “People love walking on it. It’s critical to get it back.”

A winter storm wiped out more than half of Seacliff State Beach’s pier. The pier was demolished two months later. (Photo by Dan Sedenquist)

Meanwhile, over at nearby Seacliff State Beach, local Aptos residents are learning to live without their beloved pier. The same storm that split the Capitola Wharf in half also battered Seacliff State Beach’s historic pier.

State parks officials decided to demolish the Seacliff pier in March, rather than repair it. Engineers determined that the remaining structure had to be demolished before it collapsed.

State parks officials wrote, “The historic storms that impacted California’s communities this winter and damaged Seacliff State Beach are evidence of a new reality the state’s shoreline faces as a result of climate change, especially due to sea-level rise and extreme weather.”