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Date of Issue: April 14, 2005

Bradenton Beach pier repairs finally finalized

The Bradenton Beach City Pier "should open within a few weeks."

That's the word from Vice Mayor Bill Shearon, the liaison to the popular facility on the east end of Bridge Street.

The pier was closed to the public due to safety concerns March 10. The pier's restaurant was closed Sept. 10, 2004, after Hurricane Frances damaged the roof and prompted the city commission to enact a clause in the franchise agreement with Karen and Jake Gallo to terminate the lease on the restaurant.

City commissioners last Thursday agreed to a number of "fixes" to the pier to at least open it to fishers and those seeking enjoyment of the vista the pier offers to Anna Maria Sound and Sarasota Bay:

  • Improvements to the rest rooms to bring them up to standards required by the U.S. Americans With Disabilities Act. LaPensee Plumbing will do the work on the rest rooms, except for flooring and tile work that will be done by the city's public works employees. Estimated cost for the rest room work by LaPensee was $3,800.
  • Improvements to the pier itself, primarily the railing. An inspection report on the pier by West Coast Inspection Services earlier this year revealed a host of problems, with a wobbly railing the most pressing for the pier proper. Building Official Ed Mc Adam said the railings could be bolstered by a dock contractor at a cost not to exceed $1,000.

Five requests for qualifications were sent out last week, with Mayor John Chappie directed to determine the eventual contractor since his authority allows expenditures of less than $2,000 for city services. That decision was expected for later this week.

  • Approval of O'Brien and Smith Architects to conduct a revised scope of work for overall pier repairs. The Bradenton Beach firm had been awarded a contract with the city to conduct a renovation of the pier's restaurant last year, but the project was halted after the inspection report by West Coast Inspection Services indicated that the pier's restaurant was in dire straits.

Among the problems were a host of issues: "The flat-roofed enclosed areas extending out over the pier to the east are in quite poor condition. The ceiling heights are too low for the intended use. The roof framing and uplift anchorage is questionable. The windows and doors need to be replaced. The thermal performance of the enclosing walls needs to be upgraded. The floor structure needs to be repaired and the floor finishes restored to a sanitary condition. The 'shacks' long ago constructed on top of the pier are not suitable to be renovated into a satisfactory restaurant space.

"Renovation of these spaces would not be cost effective. The existing enclosed areas are a hindrance to the proper improvement of the serviceability of the buildings."

O'Brien and Smith have offered a five-part scope of work for pier improvements. The plan includes new design drawings for the structure east of the entryway of the pier - the only part of the facility deemed sound by the inspection team - as well as review with the city commission on the plans. There was also a proposal for final architectural drawings based upon city commission approval, structural engineering review of the 625-foot-long pier, and schematic drawings for a proposed harbor master station, including a city-owned dock due south of the pier.

Cost of the revised scope of work was $17,886.

  • Draft a request for qualifications for surveyors to determine the actual city ownership of the pier, adjacent clock tower and nearby city-owned dock south of the pier itself.

Total cost for all repairs and professional services is unknown.