Safety issues drive KaBoom concert to new venue 

Century-old piers that buckled under the weight of a cargo truck months ago will not be able to support the annual KaBoom concert and fireworks show.

But the show put on by KFOG radio must go on — it will just have to be somewhere else.

Organizers are moving the event, in its 17th year, from Piers 30 and 32 to one of two other waterfront hot spots — one being Candlestick Park and the other unannounced — since vans and trucks aren’t allowed on the deteriorating piers anymore.

“They had some structure challenges that need to be fixed,” KFOG spokeswoman Sheri Nelson said. “It’s perfectly fine to park a car there, but for us to be loading in big trucks full of stuff like Porta Potties, it’s just a matter of safety.”

The two piers were built from steel and concrete in 1912, and then joined by another slab made of similar material in 1950.

In October, the wheel of a parked and loaded truck made a divot in a portion of the pier that was built in 1912, and officials decided to ban cars or vans from the property.

“We have challenged properties that are about 100 years old and we would love to be able to fix that facility, but with our capital shortage it’s in line with a lot of other things,” said Susan Reynolds, the Port of San Francisco’s director of real estate.

And the organizers of KaBoom — which attracted about 20,000 people last year — are taking the opportunity to make the event more like a festival, Nelson said.

It will still be May 22 and cost $15, but will just be elsewhere on the waterfront, she said.

Chief Harbor Engineer Ed Byrne said he believes the pier still has years of stability for cars to come and go safely, but it would cost up to $70 million to seismically retrofit and that probably won’t happen.

“We just have to use it for lighter uses,” Byrne said.

Reynolds said the only other big event she could think of that might be affected is the AVP Crocs Cup volleyball event.

“They’ll just have to get creative or move somewhere else,” said.

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