Barge strikes new Anna Maria City Pier

Barge damages new Anna Maria City Pier
Coast Guardsmen inspect the damage to the new Anna Maria City Pier. - City of Anna Maria | Submitted

ANNA MARIA – An i+iconSoutheast construction barge struck and damaged the new Anna Maria City Pier this afternoon.

Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy said the accident occurred between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. The barge struck the southeast side of the pier, about two-thirds of the way out.

The degree of damage and the anticipated delays to the pier construction timetable were still being assessed as of late afternoon.

I+iconSoutheast is the marine construction company building the new pier structure, walkway and T-end decking.

Barge damages new Anna Maria City Pier
This i+iconSoutheast barge ran into the new Anna Maria City Pier this afternoon. – Cindy Lane | Sun

“The icon barge was trying to tie up for the night. He was going to go early tomorrow morning to the Kingfish boat ramp to start loading materials to take out there,” Murphy said.

“He came in a little bit too hot and he rammed into the pier. He broke or pushed off two pilings and one of the top beams – the bent frames that go there. He messed up the stringers there and bent the conduits out of shape. It’s about 15 to 20 feet of damage and those two pilings will have to be replaced. The beam looks like it’s OK and we’ll probably be able to save that. A couple stringers will have to be replaced,” Murphy explained.

Barge damages new Anna Maria City Pier
Mayor Dan Murphy said scuba divers may be needed to fully assess the pier damage. – City of Anna Maria | Submitted

“The Coast Guard is investigating the accident, as well as the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. I don’t yet have the extent of the damage. I don’t know the amount of delay this is going to create or whether it’s going to be a long delay or a short delay. I went out there and looked at it and a lot depends upon the structural damage that I couldn’t see. I need to have divers or somebody else take a look at this,” Murphy said.

Murphy said i+iconSoutheast is responsible for the damage and the repairs required.

Barge damages new Anna Maria City Pier
Tuesday’s barge accident bent the pier structure that must now be repaired. – City of Anna Maria | Submitted

The pier project recently incurred some unanticipated delays because of precautionary measures taken due to the possible arrival of Hurricane Dorian. Those storm-related delays resulted in i+iconSoutheast’s anticipated early September completion date likely being pushed back a couple more weeks.

Mason Martin Builders will soon start building the new restaurant, bait shop and restrooms at the new pier’s T-end. Those construction materials were scheduled to be delivered to the pier by barge this coming weekend.

Murphy said it was not yet known if today’s accident would impact those weekend activities or the commencement of the construction of the T-end buildings.

Barge damages new Anna Maria City Pier
It is not yet known what impact Tuesday’s accident will have on the construction completion timetable. – Cindy Lane | Sun