Mill Street Pier Opening Energizes Bridge District

Mill St Ribbon

A large crowd gathered Friday, March 17 on a beautiful spring morning for the Mill Street Pier opening ceremony.

CBVW4078Mayor Pro Tem Mark Johannessen was among the speakers.

Below are his remarks, which outline the history of the Pier and how this special amenity enhances the continued growth along West Sacramento’s riverfront.


With this opening today of Mill Street Pier we are reclaiming a precious piece of the City’s historic riverfront identity.

This Pier extends out over the Sacramento River providing a unique river outlook and fishing spot sitting 25 feet above the water.

The reopening of this Pier has taken years of sustained City focus, dedicated efforts of the community and partnerships with state funding agencies and riverfront property owners.


This Pier was built in 1957 by the National Rice Mills for River transport of agricultural products.  After Rice Mill operations ceased, the Pier fell into disrepair.

  • In 1993 the City Council adopted a land use vision which identified the River and public spaces along the river as the heart of planned new urban scale infill development.
  • Between 2004 and 2011 the City and property owners partnered to relocate the railroad track and rail served industrial uses on the riverfront. In 2010 partnerships with the Unger and Ramos Families and Fulcrum Property enabled the city to acquire land to create River Walk Park.
  • In 2012 the City and State Lands Commission began processing the lease of the pier.
  • In May 2013, the City entered into a contract with GHD for design of the rehabilitation project and securing the Central Valley Flood and Fish and Wildlife Permits.

Facilities like this are almost impossible to build new. Most of us recognize that the greatest challenge in realizing new walkable, urban-scale transit served neighborhoods, is funding the early park and infrastructure improvements like these that make the District desirable, attractive and secure and create a sense of place.

This $1.3 million dollar rehabilitation project is being completed in 2 phases. State funding partners awarded two grants:

  • $338,000 California HCD Housing Related Parks Grant
  • $478, 000 California Resources Agency River Parkways Grant

The remaining $500,000 came from financing district funds.

Today is a celebration of the completion of the first phase which restored ADA compliant public access, strengthened and resurfaced the structure, added safety railing, lighting and seating. The next phase will be the educational interpretive improvements and art work which will be completed in about 18 months.

The Mill Street Pier will be a key amenity for those who live, work or visit the evolving Bridge District, which upon build out will consist of 4,000 residential units, housing an estimated 7,200 residents, plus 5 million square feet of retail, office buildings and hotels.

So what’s next?

  • Smart Growth Investors II is projecting that it will be opening its 21 new Eames Way–for sale homes–the beginning of next month. And the Developer has broken ground on a 55 unit new apartment project, “980 Central” expected to be completed August 2018.
  • Drakes opening at the BARN is projected for some time this summer.  Off the Grid events projected to begin around May at the BARN and the Farmers market is permanently relocating to the BARN this May.
  • The Unger mixed use project, “West”, is expected to break ground in fall of 2017.
  • A new public art installation will be put in place at the River Walk north of Bridge Street  this summer as soon as permitting is completed.  And the second companion Kaneko sculpture, to the Jun Kaneko in Garden Park, will be installed in the coming months.
  • The Bridge District Parking lot is expected to be completed next month.
  • Infrastructure construction beginning in June 2017 will add wider continuous sidewalks, historic street lights, new landscaping and a public art installation on E Street in the Washington neighborhood.

West Sacramento Fireboat “Boat 41” helps dedicate the opening of the Mill St. Pier

The ceremony was broadcast live on Facebook. Watch below!


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