Updated June 26, 2017
Absolutely. The City of Jacksonville Beach and the City of Jacksonville have stated they will rebuild the pier as it was before the hurricane.
Estimates for rebuilding the pier have consistently been between 18 months and two years from hurricane to completion.* That currently places the estimated completion date between May 2018 and October 2018. Please remember that these are estimates, as with any major construction project the final completion date will vary.
*Immediately after the storm, Jax Beach Mayor Charlie Latham stated he thought the repairs would take around 10 months, with the pier possibly open by summer 2017. After they learned the extent of the damage he has since corrected that statement to the two year time frame.
The City of Jacksonville is in their investigative/ design phase. The city has completed their initial study on why the pier failed during the hurricane. A second assessment being conducted by Marine Specialists Limited is currently taking place on behalf of the City of Jacksonville's insurance company. They will be on and around the pier through late May or early June, but their activity will not impact the timeline for repairs. In late March, the City of Jacksonville began the RFP process of finding a contractor to rebuild the pier. An RFP or Request for Proposal is an open bidding process used by government entities so the bids are awarded fairly. The city announced on April 26 that they had selected RS&H of Jacksonville as the design consultant. They have already begun discussions with the city for the first phase, which is to review storm damage and structure. They will then submit a plan and a fee schedule that will be negotiated with the City of Jacksonville. According to Jacksonville City Councilman Bill Gulliford, the construction will begin soon after.
The Jacksonville Beach Pier was designed to withstand 130 MPH winds or a Category 3 hurricane. Part of the initial delay in rebuilding the pier was determining what went wrong. The City of Jacksonville will not release the full study, but it appears it was an error in the construction. Because the Pier is a city structure the study is protected by Homeland Security, but any details they are able to release will be shared here.
While Hurricane Matthew washed away 350', over 900' of the pier remains. Unfortunately, the part that remains has been temporarily deemed structurally unstable and dangerous. According to Councilman Bill Gulliford, one of the tasks given to RS&H is to determine if the remaining structure is safe for use. If it is, they hope to have it open by Fall of 2017.
The current pier that was built in 2004 is owned and managed by the City of Jacksonville even though we call it the Jacksonville Beach Pier.
Since the Jacksonville Beach Pier is owned by the City of Jacksonville, the City of Jacksonville Public Works Department is overseeing the project.
Initially, the costs will be paid by the City of Jacksonville who will then apply for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Estimates are that between 50% and 80% of the cost to rebuild will be reimbursed by FEMA. A portion of the balance will also be covered byt he City of Jacksonville's insurance coverage. According to Jacksonville City Council President Lori Boyer, the City of Jacksonville is also exploring legal options against the original contractor since the construction failed.
The Jacksonville Beach Pier
The Jacksonville Beach Pier is an asset to the Beaches, and to the entire Northeast Florida community. I stand with Jacksonville Beach Mayor Charlie Latham and District 13 Councilman Bill Gulliford with a strong commitment to ensuring the repair and rebuilding of a structure so important to our residents and our region.
Anna Lopez Brosche
President-Elect, Jacksonville City Council
On October 7, 2016, the coast of Northeast Florida was skimmed by Hurricane Matthew. Fortunately, Jacksonville Beach did not sustain a direct hit, but we did suffer significant damage as the Category 2 storm passed just 40 miles offshore. One of the loses in the storm was the beloved Jax Beach Pier. In the months that have passed, there has been misinformation which has caused confusion and, from that, frustration over the future of the pier. This page was created as a way to help keep the community updated and informed as the long process to rebuild the pier unfolds. It is my hope that accurate and reliable information will reassure the public. Information on this page is from reliable sources including Jacksonville Councilman William Gulliford, Council President Lori Boyer, Mayor Lenny Curry, Jax Beach Mayor Charlie Latham, and city staff. If any information changes, it will be updated as soon as possible. I appreciate you caring enough about our community to be interested in the future of the pier and in the future of the Jacksonville Beach Downtown. Let's continue to work together to make a Better Jacksonville Beach.
President, Better Jacksonville Beach