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ONE PLANK REMOVED & ANNA MARIA CITY PIER IS ONE PLANK CLOSER TO REBUILD

Nine months ago today, Hurricane Irma whipped through the state of Florida leaving behind countless, unwelcome memories. While most areas in Florida were spared catastrophic damages, the historic 678 foot Anna Maria City Pier built in 1911 did not fare so well. Days following Hurricane Irma, the pier was deemed unsafe and closed to the public. The tin roof was torn off the bait shop and there was significant damage to the restaurant and to the wooden planking. An engineering assessment was completed and in October 2018 the city commission voted for the City Pier to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch. At that time the new 4.5 million dollar pier, bait shop and restaurant re-opening date was slated for late 2019.
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Demolition discussions have been ongoing and on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 a contract with Speeler & Associates was signed. According to Anna Maria Mayor Murphy work is to begin shortly and the contract calls for the demo to be completed on or before September 30. If you’re planning a visit to the pier you can expect to see the pier fenced off with barge-based cranes positioned at the end of the pier.
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As for the plank removal, local contractor Frank Agnelli and his crew from Agnelli Pools Ned Construction and Mason Martin Builders are scheduled to begin pulling the engraved pier planks in late June. For those who formally requested their plank be returned, it has been reported that pick-up will begin on July 2nd. The planks can be picked up at Anna Maria City Hall, 10005 Gulf Drive. Any unclaimed planks will be stored and used to build memorial walls at City Pier Park and in the historical park near the Anna Maria Island Historical Society Museum.
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The Anna Maria City Pier was an attraction on its own and the vast majority of the people who visited the pier never even entered the restaurant. With breathtaking views of Tampa Bay you could enjoy a stroll any time of the day or watch a spectacular Florida sunset. The Anna Maria City Pier was always a favourite gathering place for locals galore and a place where it was easy for tourists to feel welcome. Whether you were fishing, having a drink at the bar, shopping for jewelry or listening to live music at night, the pier holds a special meaning to so many.
For now, all we can do is watch as the old planks are removed with anticipation and a vision of walking on the brand new planks in 2019 and envision the what the new city pier will look like.

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