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Date of Issue: July 15, 2009

Pier removal to begin in November

Diagrams of the proposed new pier at Manatee Public Beach. If funds allow, the pier would be extended to 400 feet rather than the 300 feet as indicated in the diagrams. Islander Image: Manatee County
The Manatee Public Beach pier will be demolished in November and then replaced with a 300-400 foot pier. Islander Photo: Lisa Neff

The removal of the deteriorated Manatee Public Beach Pier will take place in November under a permit with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

The pier removal is scheduled to take place after Nov. 1, with the conclusion of sea turtle nesting season.

Manatee County officials were working with Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and state agencies to negotiate a plan to expedite the demolition of the deteriorated Manatee Public Beach Pier.

AMITW, which collects data on nesting turtles on the Island, reports that only five nests have been found within 300 feet of the pier during the past 10 years.

But the process for obtaining permission to work during nesting season proved too time-consuming, according to Coastal Planning and Engineering consultant Rick Spadoni, who is working on the project under a contract with the county.

“It made sense to accept the permit, which allowed pier removal after Oct. 31,” Spadoni said, adding that “any nesting at all triggers the same process as if 1,000 turtles nested near the pier.”

County officials learned months ago that the pier, constructed in 1990, had deteriorated to a point where it needed to be demolished.

The estimated cost of demolition, based on three bids, is about $250,000.

The existing pier will be replaced with a 300-400 foot pier that will take about six months to build.

“We continue to process the permits for pier reconstruction,” said Spadoni, adding that construction will probably begin this winter and continue through the spring.

That timetable means that the DEP probably will be asked to allow reconstruction work to take place during the 2010 nesting season.

The total cost of the project is about $1.5 million.