PANAMA CITY BEACH — Double red flags flapping in the stiff breeze might have kept swimmers out of the water Friday April 10, 2009, but they didn’t keep workers from starting construction on the county’s new M.B. Miller Pier near the south end of Alf Coleman Road.
While beach walkers stopped to gawk at the first pilings being placed in the sand, county capital projects manager Fred Brown said the 1,500-foot pier, a twin companion to the city pier now under construction near Pier Park, should be completed by late summer 2010.
The city pier across the street from Pier Park is expected to open to the public by July.
“This will be something the county has never had before,” said County Commissioner Mike Thomas. “It will be real nice to have a good, long fishing pier.”
Both piers are being constructed by the same company, Shoreline Foundation Inc., and were bid out as mirrored $7.6 million companions to each other. When completed, the two piers are expected to be the longest along the Florida Panhandle.
The old 470-foot county pier, fatally damaged by Hurricane Dennis in 2005, was torn down last year.
Brown said the new structure will feature an apron and deck at its north end and be 17 feet wide as it stretches out into the Gulf of Mexico. At its mid-way point, a 59-foot-wide T-deck will be constructed with a north-south depth of 30 feet. Topping the south end of the 1,500-foot pier will be another 59-foot-wide T-deck with a north-south depth of 90 feet.
Both the city and county piers are expected to charge user fees at the same rate. Beach city officials in February gave county commissioners a briefing on prior rates for the old city pier, including $5 per day for adults to fish, $2 for children and a $1 spectator fee. County and city officials are still working to come up with a new fee schedule for both piers.
I will let you know when the new pier across from Pier Park opens.