Vol 6 No. 21 - February 15, 2006

Pier restoration estimate: $1.8 million

By Tom Vaught
sun staff writer

BRADENTON BEACH – When the city commission decided to do a complete restoration of the Bridge Street Pier, it figured the task would be slow and expensive. Now the first estimates are in and it appears they were right.

The pier, which was shut down in December 2004, suffered damage from Hurricane Frances earlier in the year. The city revoked the franchise agreement with the company that was running the restaurant and shut down the pier for a short time to anglers when an engineer’s report said the structure was becoming dangerous. The city’s public works department made temporary repairs and the city decided to redesign the pier.

The pier team, consisting of Police Chief Sam Speciale, Public Works Director Dottie Poindexter Building Official Ed McAdam and City Commissioner Bill Shearon, reported to the commission last week. The cost estimate was $1.8 million, which Shearon said had a lot of contingencies built into it and might go up or down, depending on construction costs and whether more repairs are needed.

Mayor John Chappie said due to the expense, the project might have to be done in phases. In addition to rebuilding the pilings and superstructure, plans call for a new restaurant, a walkway to the south, around the restaurant to get to the pier, a bait and tackle shop, a day dock area for an eventual water taxi and a dock master’s office for a mooring field.

The plan that the pier team presented showed that the city has submitted a request for a permit exemption from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and is waiting for an extension of the pier’s footprint to accommodate the walkway. The team will ask the commission for a final design cost authorization from the architect in the near future and will prepare lease options for the dozen or more potential franchisees who have expressed interest in running the restaurant. Shearon said they would choose a franchisee before the final restaurant plan is approved so that party could have input on the kitchen design.

The team has estimated that the whole project would take until late summer of 2007, if everything goes as planned. The city intends to use funds the its Community Redevelopment Agency agreement to pay for part of the project. Chappie has said all along that he would not allow any property tax funds to be spent on it and has instructed Poindexter, who is now the city’s projects manager, to apply for any grants that might pay for part of it.


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