ANNA MARIA – A visit to the Anna Maria City Pier late Friday afternoon indicated the demolition process is proceeding at a rapid pace and is ahead of schedule.
Only a short section of pier remained, and when contacted that day, Mayor Dan Murphy said he anticipated the pier demolition to be completed this week – well ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline specified in the contract with Speeler & Associates.
“The pier demolition should be done by Tuesday barring any unplanned events. I’m pleased with the progress,” Murphy said.
Speeler & Associates began its demolition work on Monday, July 9 and two days later demolished the T-end buildings and began removing the decking. The demolition team has now removed most of the remaining pier walkway and pulled most of the wooden pilings.
As part of the demolition project, the remaining unclaimed engraved pier planks were removed by a crew from Agnelli Pools & Construction. The unclaimed engraved planks will be used later to build memorial walls across the street at City Pier Park and outside the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum on Pine Avenue.
The City Commission’s next order of pier-related business will be to accept or reject the two bids recently received for the construction of a new pier. Speeler & Associates bid $3.72 million to build a new pier and Tampa-based ICON bid $4.13 million.
Murphy will present the commission with the bid rankings and the commission will decide if the mayor is to begin negotiating potential contract terms with the highest-ranked firm. If the commission rejects both bids, a new request for proposals would be issued. The construction bids will be discussed at the commission’s Thursday, July 26 meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.
Pier planks retrieved
According to Murphy, more than 145 engraved planks had been picked up at city hall as of Friday, July 20. The deadline to retrieve a pre-claimed engraved plank is Tuesday, July 31.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from individuals who are very happy and very pleased to be able to get these planks,” Deputy City Clerk Debbie Haynes said during the July 12 commission meeting. Holmes Beach resident and local charter fishing captain Scott Moore recently retrieved the engraved pier plank bearing his name. He said his family members wanted him to keep it.
“I thought it was very graceful of the city of Anna Maria to go out of the way to make sure the residents and others got their planks. I’d like to thank the city and it will be great to see the new pier rise again when it’s built,” Moore said.
“I’ve traveled all over the United States and when I tell people I live on Anna Maria Island they immediately say that it’s a beautiful island with a beautiful pier at the end of it. I grew up fishing on the Rod & Reel Pier and the City Pier as a kid and I was very fortunate to have those experiences as part of my childhood,” Moore said.