Mayor provides pier construction update

Mayor provides pier construction update
These concrete pilings will support the pier platform that will provide the foundation for the new restaurant, bait shop and public restrooms. - City of Anna Maria | Submitted

ANNA MARIA – On Friday afternoon, Mayor Dan Murphy provided Manatee County Senior Administrative Specialist Monica Luff with an update on the construction of the new Anna Maria City Pier being built by i+iconSoutheast.

The construction update was requested by Luff, who works with the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Tourist Development Council. Both governmental entities answer to Manatee County’s Board of County Commissioners.

According to Murphy, the pier project’s total anticipated cost is approximately $4.8 million. In 2018, the county commission committed $1.5 million to the project using funds generated by the county’s 5 percent tourist tax. The county commission also allocated an additional $330,000 in surplus beach concession revenues for the project. The county’s funding commitments equate to approximately 37 percent of the total anticipated project costs.

In his Friday, Feb. 22, update to Luff, Murphy wrote, “The status of the Anna Maria City Pier project is as follows:

  • We are in the pile driving phase of construction.
  • As of today, all 70 piles for the T-end of the pier have been driven. The T-end supports both the restaurant and bait shop;
  • The T-end piles are 50’ long by 14” in diameter, each weighing 5,000 lbs.;
  • There are approximately 134 more pilings to go for the walkway leading out to the pier;
  • On average, seven piles are driven each day. Weather permitting, the contractor works six days per week;
  • All piles and equipment are transported by barge from St. Pete. and/or Tampa to Anna Maria so as to alleviate traffic congestion on the Island;
  • The barge will leave Anna Maria this Monday to procure more equipment and piles, returning Thursday (2/28), weather permitting;
  • Next phase will be placing the concrete pre-cast slabs on top of the T-end pilings, building bents (deck supports) for the walk-way out and installing utilities to the pier T-end;
  • In spite of several foul weather days, the project remains on track for platform completion by August 28, 2019,” Murphy wrote.

The construction of the pier buildings will be addressed in a yet-to-be-issued request for proposals (RFP). The selected firm will then begin a subsequent and possibly congruent phase of construction once the T-end platform is completed. It is not yet known when that RFP will be issued or when that construction phase will begin and end. Murphy said previously he expects the pier to be opened to the public by year’s end.

The forthcoming RFP process is partially contingent on the negotiations between Murphy and current pier tenant Mario Schoenfelder regarding the tenant’s contributions to the project.

Murphy has suggested Schoenfelder contribute $500,000 toward the interior buildout of the restaurant and bait shop spaces. In exchange, Schoenfelder would be allowed to provide some input on the interior design and interior components. Schoenfelder’s current lease expires in December 2020.

Mayor provides pier construction update
Due to high winds and choppy seas, no pier construction work took place on Wednesday, Feb. 13. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

On Feb. 14, Murphy provided the city commission with its first update since the construction started. He said the i+iconSoutheast crew lost two days of work that week due to inclement weather and choppy seas. Murphy said the construction company feared for the safety of its employees because of the waves created by the windy conditions. A visit to the pier worksite the previous day indicated no work taking place that day.