City leaders met Wednesday to discuss the progress of the Jacksonville Beach pier.
The pier has been closed since Hurricane Matthew damaged it last year. The strong wave action caused a 350-foot section to wash away.
City leaders believe the standard code of the Jacksonville Beach pier was designed for a 20-year storm, meaning there’s a 2-percent chance that a storm of that nature would occur in any given year.
Through storm data, crews were able to determine that a 30-year storm existed during Matthew.
In the meeting, crews announced that they plan to have a portion of the pier open by spring.
Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Gulliford said he’s not happy with the progress, but understands that it can’t go any faster.
“We want it to be right so that this doesn't happen again,” Gulliford said.
Minor repairs to the first half of the pier are slated to begin next week, according to city leaders.
The city has a contract with Acon to repair the decking and handrail of the pier. Plan is to start that process next week. @ActionNewsJax— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) October 18, 2017
City leaders said they were in a contract with Acon to make repairs to the pier before Matthew.
The city had a contract BEFORE Hurricane Matthew to upgrade the pier, but plans were halted because of the storm. The city will use some of that money to make repairs. @ActionNewsJax— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) October 18, 2017
That project was postponed due to the damage from the storm.
The $800,000 that was set aside for that contract will now go toward the repairs to the first half of the pier.
Funding for the second half of the structure—which will undergo a redesign— is still needed. City leaders hope FEMA will help cover at least a portion of the repairs.
The redesign is still in the works, but there are talks of potentially raising the level of the pier to make it more durable during a storm.
“If you get it up higher, then that storm surge has a greater distance to go before it starts impacting the decking,” Gulliford pointed out.
Gulliford and other city leaders said they want to bring the pier back to life.
The city says they have every intention of repairing the pier to its original length. "We plan on bringing the pier back to life." @ActionNewsJax— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) October 18, 2017
“I just hope we're very imaginative and get it back up as fast as we can,” Gulliford said.
Gulliford said there are talks of building a restaurant on the pier. For that to happen, the structural code of the pier needs to be built for a 100-year storm.
It could take up to two years to have the entire pier back open.
It could take up to 2 years before the full pier is back open. A redesign is still in the works. @ActionNewsJax— Christy Turner (@ChristyANJax) October 18, 2017