Floating dock temporarily closed

Floating dock temporarily closed
The floating dock next to the Bridge Street Pier was closed on Friday due to safety concerns. - David Higgins | Submitted

BRADENTON BEACH – The new floating day dock was closed on Friday, Oct. 4, and will remain closed until repairs are made to the gangway that provides access to the historic Bridge Street Pier.

According to Public Works Director Tom Woodard, Mayor John Chappie ordered the dock closed on Friday due to concerns about the connection points between the metal gangway and the floating dock.

“My guys noticed the connection was weak,” Woodard said.

Woodard notified Police Chief and pier team facilitator Sam Speciale about the safety concerns. Speciale then contacted the Hecker Construction Company, the firm that recently installed the pre-manufactured dock sections.

“We were told by Hecker the connection was not part of the installation contract and they connected it the best they could,” Woodard said.

“The gangway is pulling away from the pier and is not safe, so I called Delta Engineering to come evaluate it and engineer the proper connection. They found deficiencies and felt it should be closed until it is properly installed,” Woodard said.

“I should have the plan by Tuesday (Oct. 8) and we will get it fixed as soon as possible. This is a priority because that dock was closed long enough,” Woodard said.

Woodard was referencing the lengthy delays that plagued the two-year dock replacement project completed in early August.

Safety railings

Unrelated to the newly-discovered connection concerns, the Bradenton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) recently authorized a $2,295 expenditure for the installation of safety railings and dock ladders on the new dock.

Floating dock temporarily closed
Safety railings will soon be added to the landing area where the gangway connects to the dock. – Joe Hendricks | Sun

After the repairs are made to the gangway connection, safety railings will soon be installed around the landing area where the gangway connects to the dock. The railings will prevent someone using a wheelchair, baby stroller or other wheeled device on the sloped ramp from overshooting the landing and falling in the water.

Safety railings will only be installed on that portion of the dock and will not line the entire dock. Two dock ladders will also be installed.