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Date of Issue: September 28, 2006

Pier project moving along in Bradenton Beach

There's a lot going on with the Historic Bradenton Beach City Pier.

Pilings and decking to support the new restaurant have been installed. The bid process has begun for the construction of the facility, an adjacent harbormaster office and tackle shop. A settlement has also been reached with the former piling contractor, who stepped away from the job after the condition of the piles was determined too extreme for repair.

The new piling contractor, Wood Dock and Deck of Cortez, installed 44 wooden pilings after removing the badly spalled concrete structures. A new deck was also installed to support the restaurant.

Bids will be accepted until Oct. 20 for construction of the restaurant and other buildings. The work is extensive: boardwalks; a day-docking structure; the restaurant, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing and lighting; dockmaster building; and a bathhouse.

Stemic Construction was originally chosen to replace the pilings at the pier under the restaurant, but damage to the concrete component of the 30-year-old piles was too extensive for a cost-effective repair job, city commissioners determined. They agreed last week to pay the company $32,000 for work done before the project was halted.

A contract is now also in place with David Russell of Rotten Ralph's Restaurant to manage the facility. He will work with the city on restaurant design. O'Brien and Smith Architects of Bradenton Beach drew the plans for the pier makeover.

Work on the structures is expected to be completed by June 2007. Total cost for all repairs has been estimated by city officials at $2.1 million.