Jacksonville, FL - Ahead of schedule, half of the Jacksonville Beach Pier reopens this week.
The Jacksonville City Council passed an amended contract for managing and operating the Pier Tuesday night, with the same company resuming service but at a reduced rate until the full span is restored. The company estimates business will be down about 80% until the full Pier is open, so the amended contract only binds the company to paying about 20% of the contract value until that time.
And we’re now getting a better idea of when that will be.
Jacksonville Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa says the first 625 feet of the Pier reopens Thursday, for the first time since the structure was damaged by Hurricane Matthew. The rest of the Pier is being analyzed still to determine some factors, like what storm surge it should be designed to withstand. The design phase alone, according to Mousa, is expected to take another 6-9 months, with the full reopening of the Pier estimated for 18-20 months from now- or August 2019 at the earliest.
PHOTOS: Before and after Hurricane Matthew
Mousa says they intend to rebuild the Pier to the length it was before the hurricanes. The management company has not been making any payments, while the structure has been closed. The reduced rate lease payments resume upon the partial reopening.