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Pier In St. Augustine Beach Will Close Monday For Months-long Restoration

 St. Johns County Pier in St. Augustine Beach.
Michael Rivera
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Wikimedia Commons
St. Johns County Pier in St. Augustine Beach.

If you’ve been thinking of visiting the St. Johns County Pier in St. Augustine Beach this winter, you have only a few days left.

The pier will be closed starting Monday, Jan. 6, for a $780,000 renovation. The repairs are expected to take about five months, with the pier reopening sometime in May.

“There’s some wear and tear there. You know, the walk boards need to be replaced. The handrails, it’s time for them to be replaced,” said St. Johns County Engineer Duane Kent.

Crews will also be looking at some structural elements beneath the decking.  Kent told WJCT News some concrete prestressed piers will be replaced with glulam piers. Glulam is a stress-rated engineered wood beam, according to APA  – The Engineered Wood Association.

The pier gift shop, visitor information center, splash park, parking lot and other park facilities will remain open during the renovation.

But a small part of the parking lot will be closed on the north side of the pier, and access to the beach near the pier will also be intermittently restricted.

c011939.jpg
Credit Florida Memory - State Library & Archives of Florida
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Four people are pictured having fun on the pier in St. Augustine Beach in 1949.

The pier has been a landmark in St. Augustine Beach since 1939. At 1,300 feet, it was the longest pier on the Atlantic coast – for a month, according to the St. Augustine Record, which reported a 1939 storm damaged the brand new pier, shortening it by 500 feet.

Kent says the pier’s renovation isn’t a hardening project, which refers to making structures more resistant to severe weather events, but rather, it’s a maintenance project.

“You should have the same experience on the pier as you’ve had in the past. It’ll look new and better,” said Kent.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Color pier photo used under Creative Commons license.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.