Gutted, crumbled and removed from the horizon.
The Anna Maria City Pier Restaurant and bait shop are gone.
Fresh off a week of vacation to celebrate Independence Day, around 10 workers from Speeler and Associates began the second phase of the pier demolition project — tearing down the pier-head superstructure.
The process began July 9 with workers hand-removing potentially harmful materials, including metal roofing, insulation, plumbing and electrical hardware.
Then the excavator, stationed on two barges by the pier, brought down the buildings — the restaurant and bait shop — on the T-end.
Speeler and Associates vice president Mike Tibbett said the next step will be demolishing the deck — section by section due to some anticipated instability resulting from the removal of the buildings.
Demolition of the T-end is slated for completion by the first week of August. The city will pay Speeler $290,000 on completion, making it the most expensive portion of the $732,000 demolition contract.
Removal of the pier-head pilings will follow.
Also, volunteer Frank Agnelli, owner of Agnelli Pools & Construction, 6000 Marina Drive, will remove and store the 750 remaining planks on the walkway.
The city plans to use the planks in memorial fences at City Pier Park, 101 N. Bay Blvd., and at the Anna Maria Historical Society Museum, 402 Pine Ave.
People who requested memorial planks have until the end of the month to retrieve them from city hall, 10005 Gulf Drive, from 10 a.m.-noon weekdays.
Demolition is slated for completion by Sept. 30, depending on weather and tides. For every day the project continues past the deadline, Speeler must pay a $500 penalty.
Tibbett said Speeler plans to submit a bid to build the new pier.
The Anna Maria City Commission received flak since deciding to demolish the pier rather than repair it, but Tibbett said commissioners made the right decision.
He said the pier was in such bad shape that spot repairs would only amount to a stopgap before they would be forced to fully demolish and replace the structure.
“When they see the progress and hopefully the finished product, people will come around,” Commissioner Brian Seymour said July 11.
Construction of the new pier is expected to wrap up in December 2019. The restaurant, bait shop and restrooms will come later.