The historic Anna Maria City Pier will be torn down and rebuilt from scratch.
After Hurricane Irma blew through in September, officials called damage to the pier “extensive.” The pier, baitshop and restaurant would be closed for at least a year.
The city commission voted last week to rebuild.
The pier was built in 1911, but according to Mayor Dan Murphy, its life span had about five years remaining.
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The city is currently in the permitting phase and if all goes well, Murphy said the pier could reopen in 2019, but in dealing with such an old structure, he said “there’s bound to be surprises.”
Residents and visitors shouldn’t notice a stark difference between the original and new piers.
“It will look exactly the same as it does today, except the material will be different,” Murphy said. While the pilings will be made of concrete, the planks could be wood or a durable synthetic material called Lumberock, but these specifications have yet to be narrowed down by the city.
The restaurant’s leasee has the lease until 2020, he said.
Murphy expects the project to cost between $3 million and $4 million, which will extend the pier’s life by about 75 to 100 years.
“When the pier was built 100-some years ago, they had in mind leaving a legacy for us who are here today,” he said. “By the vote of the commission, they voted to leave a legacy after us.”