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Bradenton Beach dock damaged by Tropical Storm Colin reopens to public

The floating day dock parallel to the Historic Bridge Street Pier has been reopened to the public after parts of it were severely damaged by Tropical Storm Colin.

According to Bradenton Beach Mayor William Shearon, the damaged parts were removed Wednesday afternoon by John Banyas, owner of Gulf Stream Boats Inc. The Bradenton Beach Commission voted unanimously at a June 16 regular city commission meeting to authorize the City Pier Team to select a third party to remove the floating day dock at no cost to the city.

“I’m just excited that it’s open again. That was the short-term issue. Now, we can address the long-term issue of this is just a temporary fix,” Shearon said. “We’re going to have to replace that dock. That’s the next challenge, and hopefully we keep our fingers crossed that we don’t have another storm or weather event.”

The removal of the damaged parts was followed by an inspection of the rest of the dock and pier to make sure it was safe. Once officials decide to replace the floating day dock, Shearon said Banyas will get the rest of the dock at no cost. The city placed an advertisement for the dock and Banyas was the only one who expressed interest in it, the mayor added.

At the June 16 meeting, Bradenton Beach Police Chief Sam Speciale told officials that there were sections of the day dock that are broken.

“There are sections of the day dock that are able to be Band-Aided again, that we’ve already Band-Aided and Band-Aided and Band-Aided,” he told commissioners at the time. “We can make the day dock usable with the understanding that the day dock has to come down.”

Steve Porter of Duncan Seawall inspected both the pier and day dock after Tropical Storm Colin hit June 6 and told Speciale the pier damage is cosmetic. Damage to the day dock, however, was deemed more severe. Speciale said earlier this month the day dock eventually needs to be removed or replaced.

“I’m thrilled,” the police chief said Wednesday. “I think it’s a good thing that we got it open before the 4th of July holiday and hopefully everyone will come out and use the dock and head to Bridge Street restaurants and other venues.”

Amaris Castillo: 941-745-7051, @AmarisCastillo

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