The Berkeley Pier is a pier in Berkeley, California. When constructed, the pier extended 3.5 miles (5.6 km) 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 (4.1 km). Currently, only the first 3000 ft (0.9 km) are maintained and open to the public.
In the mid-19th century, two private wharfs 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. 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 between the Berkeley Pier and the Hyde Street Pier in San Francisco, a pier shared with the Sausalito ferry. Between 1926 and 1937, it served as an integral part of the Lincoln Highway (the first road across America), and then subsequently US Highway 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. The remaining portion of the pier was left to decay, and is still visible, but inaccessible due to a barrier, and about a 50 foot gap for the passage of small boats, at the end of the current pier. In 2007, proposals were considered to start a new ferry service using a terminal near the pier.