Shands Boat Ramp temporarily closing due to pier demolition

Work estimated to take 3 months to complete

This photo shows the damaged Shands Pier. (Clay County)

The Shands Boat Ramp, bulkhead and parking area will be temporarily closed starting Thursday, June 16, through Friday, Sept. 16, due to the demolition of the Shands Pier, according to Clay County’s public information officer.

In 2016, according to the county public information officer, Hurricane Matthew destroyed the deck structure, railings and timbers of the fishing pier along the St. Johns River.

The public information officer said Tuesday, June 14, that crews are scheduled to begin removing the remaining piles and timbers in the coming days, with work estimated to take about three months to complete.

In the meantime, a list of public piers, boat ramps and kayak launches in Clay County can be found here.

As for what’s next, the county spokesperson said that the Florida Department of Transportation is anticipated to begin construction on the new State Road 16 Bridge later this year, with completion estimated in 2029. Once complete, the old Shands Bridge will be turned into a 672-foot fishing pier and recreation area.

This is a historic photo from the Clay County archives. (Clay County)