The problem stems from a lack of funding and is expected to get worse.
The entrance to the pier has warning signs and a memorial with the faces of two young men, Dan Reiss and Andy Fox.
"I just went through Mother’s Day yesterday without my son. It has been 8 years, but it still hurts. I don't want anyone else to lose a loved one unnecessarily," says Vicki Cech, Andy's mother.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the tale of caution has never been more important because much of the pier is deteriorating.
"There's a lot of slipping or tripping hazards, cracks, little holes in the concrete," said Tom O'Bryan with the Lake Michigan Army Corp of Engineers.
There are additional safety measures on the pier. Every 100 feet is a life ring that is connected to the 911 Center. O'Bryan said the pier itself hasn't had a major repair since the 1950s because of a lack of funding.
"Obviously it’s hard to put a value on lives, but we have so many priorities across the nation for our federal tax dollars," O'Bryan said.
"I live it everyday. I want people to be safe and enjoy this beautiful pier and the water," Cech said.
City officials said if the pier is safely improved, they'd like to open tours to the lighthouse someday.
O'Bryan said there have been no serious injuries because of the poor condition of the pier. Fixing it would cost $1.5 million.