Anna Maria City Pier construction underway

AM Pier Crane
The barge crane was in place and surveying work was underway for the new Anna Maria City Pier on Thursday afternoon. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

ANNA MARIA – The time has arrived to begin building the new Anna Maria City Pier.

This week, the barge crane arrived in the Tampa Bay waters offshore from the old pier site. This was preceded by the arrival of the mobile construction office and the setting up of the on-shore staging area the week before.

According to Anna Maria City Commission Chair Brian Seymour, the crew from i+iconSoutheast is expected to begin driving the concrete pier pilings into the bay bottom on Monday, Jan. 28, or soon thereafter. The city has scheduled a media boat tour of the work in progress on Wednesday, Jan. 30.

In late November, city commissioners authorized Mayor Dan Murphy to execute the $3.33 million contract with Tampa-based Infrastructure & Industrial Contractors Southeast Inc., also known as i+iconSoutheast.

The contract pertains to the construction of the pier structure, decking and walkway. The contract does not include the restaurant, bait shop and restroom spaces to be built at the pier’s T-end. That part of the pier project will be addressed in a separate request for proposals (RFP) issued later this year.

The issuance of that RFP is partially contingent on Murphy’s pending negotiations with current pier tenant Mario Schoenfelder, whose current lease expires in December 2020. Murphy has proposed that Schoenfelder contribute $500,000 toward the interior buildout of the restaurant and bait shop spaces, and those negotiations are expected to be finalized in the near future.

The city’s contract with i+iconSoutheast provides the company 270 days to complete this portion of the pier project by Aug. 26. The contract includes a $975-per-day penalty the commission can impose at its discretion if any delays are incurred beyond that date.

According to the contract, the Anna Maria City Pier will be approximately 730 feet long and 12 feet wide, with a 111-foot by 88-foot T-end section that will accommodate the restaurant, bait shop and restrooms.

I+icon Operations Director Paul Johnson is in charge of the pier project. Ayres Associates designed and engineered the pier structure, decking and walkway. Sarasota architect Barron Schimberg created the architectural vision for the pier building.

Ipe wood decking will be used for the pier platform and Kebony siding will be used for the exterior of the pier building. The new pier is designed to look like the old and aging pier that was closed due to hurricane damage in September 2017. The old pier was demolished in July.