JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – More than six months after roughly half of the Jacksonville Beach Pier reopened to the public, News4Jax learned the remainder of the pier could stay closed for nearly two years.
The landmark has been closed off and on after repeated batterings from Hurricanes Matthew and Irma in 2016 and 2017, causing extensive damage that required repairs.
The desire to make the pier more hurricane-proof is lengthening a redesign process for the remaining portion of the pier.
It could take another seven months before the redesign process is complete and the city is ready to seek bids for the construction.
City officials said the plan calls for the portion of the pier that was washed away by Hurricane Matthew to be rebuilt with a gradual incline that will be 8 feet higher. They're hoping that helps the pier weather hurricanes better.
Once a bid is accepted, construction would take 12-15 months, meaning it could be almost two years before the pier is open in its entirety.
Earlier this year, approximately 625 feet, or roughly half, of the pier reopened from the seawall to bent No. 17 after crews replaced the decks and added new railings.
There's a $1 fee for access and $3 for fishing from the pier.
When the old Jacksonville Beach pier was heavily damaged by Hurricane Floyd in 1999, it took more than four years to build the pier in its current location.