After two weeks of demolition, little remained July 20 of the historic Anna Maria City Pier.
The restaurant and bait shop were gone by July 13, with Speeler and Associates completing the removal of the T-end, deck and pilings by July 19.
While Speeler dealt with the T-end, volunteer Frank Agnelli, owner of Agnelli Pools & Construction, 6000 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, and his crew removed 750 engraved planks from the walkway, also by July 19.
The planks are being stored by Agnelli for future use in memorial fences at City Pier Park, 101 N. Bay Blvd., Anna Maria, and at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum, 402 Pine Ave., Anna Maria.
Agnelli volunteered for the job.
Paid contractor Speeler began the removal of the remaining walkway pilings July 20. Vice president Mike Tibbett said July 18 the demo would take another three weeks.
Removal of pilings is expected to increase in difficulty as the demolition crew moves toward shore.
The shallower the water, the deeper the pilings will be embedded in the bay bottom, resulting in more time and effort to complete removal, according to Tibbett.
The process will be the last stage in the demolition and wasn’t expected to begin until Aug. 27.
Speeler will be paid $290,000 for the demolition of the T-end superstructure, $203,000 for the removal of T-end pilings and $115,000 for demolishing the walkway.
The project was slated for completion by Sept. 28.
So far, Speeler’s demolition crew has enjoyed good weather and calm seas, only having to stall work due to rain July 18.
According to Tibbett, the state of the pier allowed for quick work. Many T-end pilings were so rotted they were removed easily with the excavator.
Some pilings were no longer buried and had failed to carry the weight of the pier-head. Several showed signs of worm decay.
But Tibbett said that the T-end buildings were in worse shape.
“The structure of the restaurant itself was essentially no longer fastened to the pier,” he said. “The fasteners that connected the walls to the deck had long since corroded and failed.”
Tibbett said 25 percent of the T-end deck was severely damaged by Hurricane Irma and the bait shop floor suffered significant damage.
“The bait shop really did not have a floor,” Tibbett said. “There were areas in the bait shop where we had to put temporary flooring down just so our workers could get in and start the demolition because, having them walk into the bait shop, they would have fallen through the floor and into the water.”
Construction of a new pier is expected to begin next year and be completed in December 2019.
Tibbett said Speeler is interested in submitting a bid to construct the pier. However, as of this week, there was no schedule for a “request for proposals” on the new pier.