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'BIGGER & GRANDER': Fort Myers beach pier set to double in size

After Hurricane Ian destroyed the pier at Fort Myers Beach, county commissioners have voted to rebuild a significantly larger one.
Posted at 5:27 PM, Jun 18, 2024

Calling it an opportunity to build something bigger and grander, the Lee Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday to rebuild the Fort Myers Beach pier significantly bigger than the destroyed one.

The new plan calls for the pier to extend 1,000 feet into the water - compared to 585 in the previous pier.

The new pier will also be 50% wider than the previous pier.

“We have a great opportunity here to do something special for Lee County and the tourists who visit our area,” said Commission Chairman Mike Greenwell.

County staffers say the total construction costs are estimated to be $17.1 million, and around $11.5 million of that will come from county tourism tax reserves.

FEMA will reimburse about $5.5 million which is the cost to replace the pier in the original footprint.

“In that extra 400 some feet, what else do we see? It’s more water,” said one speaker, critical of the bigger pier.

The design and permitting of the pier is expected to take up to 36 months.

After that, construction could take between a year to 18 months.

“The permitting phase will take the longest,” said Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass. “We, kinda, urged staff to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to push this out sooner.”

The rebuilt pier will be in the same location as the destroyed pier.

County staffers will put signage at the site of the pier to update residents and visitors of the plans and timeline.