Jacksonville Beach, FL. — Jacksonville beachgoers like Michael Tefera are ready to get their fishing pier back.
“I really hope it’s done by next week, but I know that’s not really realistic,” said Tefera.
Try another 52 weeks, at least.
City councilman Rory Diamond, who represents the beaches, said construction work should wrap up by spring of 2022.
“We should’ve been done at the end of this year with a pier completely done but covid set us back with our federal permits, in particular our environmental permits,” said Diamond.
Beachgoers and fishermen haven’t been able to go on the pier for more than a year now.
It closed back in November 2019 to begin renovations.
“You don’t really relax because you hear all the hammers and cranes and it’s just a little distracting,” said Tefera.
After hurricanes Matthew and Irma, debris fell into the water.
One of the reasons it’s taken so long is because divers must remove the sand that’s covering the fallen beams and piles so crews can attach rigging to them and lift them out.
“All the seafloor is being left just like it was,” said Diamond who added that the project is on budget.
The estimated cost is just over $10 million but Diamond said much of it is being paid by the federal government.
Once the project is finished, parts of the pier will be elevated by eight feet in the hopes of preventing another storm from damaging it again.
Tefera is looking forward to creating more memories on the pier once it reopens, like this one he’ll never forget.
“When a random guy just caught a baby shark and everything and we threw it back in and we had a great time,” said Tefera.
Cox Media Group