Long-awaited Bradenton Beach pier work to start

Long-awaited repairs to the Historic Bridge Street Pier are slated to begin in less than two weeks.

A portion of the pier has been closed to the public since storm damage occurred in July 2012, but it should finally reopen after about five months of work.

At a special July 21 meeting, Bradenton Beach commissioners unanimously approved the third draft of a 28-page contract between the city and contractor Duncan Seawall Dock and Boat Lift LLC.

At the July 17 city meeting, Perry led city commissioners through a page-by-page review of the contract, resulting in some recommended changes.

The contract still has to be signed by Duncan. However, general manager Steve Porter later said he was OK with the changes.

Porter said Duncan plans to start work Aug. 11.

Also at the July 17 meeting, commissioners granted Mayor Bill Shearon authority to approve up to $14,837 in possible change orders and unanticipated cost increases. Any expenditure costing more than that will require commission approval.

Shearon is expected to work with the pier team advisory board that has authority to approve or deny pier expenditures.

Duncan will have up to 16 days of additional time to complete the project without having to pay a penalty fee of $1,000 per day. Any penalty will be deducted from the final payment, which will be made after the project has been fully completed.

Duncan has 161 days to complete its work once both parties sign the contract and the clock begins.

Renovation plans include expanding the outdoor dining area at the pier restaurant by 9,700 square feet, installation of light-gray composite decking, the addition of water lines to new fishing stations and installing 21 new pilings in addition to the 151 pilings already in place.

The added pilings will extend into Sarasota Bay from the floating dock adjacent to the pier and form a protective barrier to prevent damage from boats breaking loose from the nearby anchorage.

The pier renovation will be funded through a joint effort by the Bradenton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency and Manatee County government.

The Manatee County Tourist Development Council will match up to $1 million of the pier cost from its tourist tax funds.

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