Anna Maria Island Pier reconstruction making progress
Construction on a new Anna Maria City Pier suffered a setback this week when a barge crashed into the structure and caused a significant amount of damage, according to the city of Anna Maria.
In an uncanny twist, the accident occurred Tuesday, exactly two years after the original pier was severely damaged by Hurricane Irma.
The barge, operated by project contractor i+iconUSA, went astray due to strong wind and currents, according to the city.
The damage included two pilings, beams, stringers, and electric and plumbing work that will now have to be repaired or replaced.
Divers will be brought in on Friday to inspect the full extent of the damage, Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy told local news outlets.
Construction on the pier began in January and is expected to be finished by late 2019 or early 2020.
Until a survey of the pier is complete, it is unknown whether the accident will cause a delay in that time frame.
Murphy said that the contractors will pay for the damage caused by the accident.
This is not the first setback the project has encountered.
Earlier this year, FEMA withdrew a funding grant because the project began before an agreement had been executed.
Facing a budget shortfall of $869,000, the mayor went to the Manatee County Tourist Development Council to ask for additional funds. A request for $435,000 was approved.
The cost to replace the iconic structure is estimated at $4.5 million.
The new pier will include a restaurant and bait shop.