Bradenton Beach pier scheduled to open at week's end
Pending commission approval Thursday, the Historic Bridge Street Pier
in Bradenton Beach is scheduled to open to the public
Friday, Sept. 21.
Police Chief Sam Speciale, who has been serving as facilitator
on the construction of the project, said the “pier
team” officially disbanded last week.
The pier was damaged by storms in
2004, the restaurant closed, and the fishing structure
- the entire pier - later
closed to fishers and visitors.
Work has been ongoing since last December.
work cost about $2.2 million, one of the city’s most ambitious capital
The restaurant, at the foot
of Bridge Street, is ready to go, Speciale said.
Also within the complex, at the east end
of Bridge Street at Anna Maria Sound, is a tackle shop
or, as it is sometimes called, the “fishing kiosk.” There
is also a harbormaster office and bathhouse/rest room
Rotten Ralph’s Waterfront Restaurant,
of Anna Maria City fame, will operate the 90-plus seat restaurant.
is a little different from what patrons of the past
will recall. Fishers now have a broad walkway to the south of the structure
for ingress and egress to the pier proper, rather than the previous journey
through diners on the deck.
The outdoor deck is also semi-enclosed
via railings to keep restaurateurs and fishers apart.
One of the newest features
of the pier is a 210-foot-long floating dock in the
waters just to the south of the pier. The dock has a thin concrete surface
and is bracketed by massive pilings with stainless-steel loops.
The floating dock, at a cost of about $300,000,
comes compliments of a state grant and is, city officials
hope, a harbinger for an eventual docking site for water taxi service
in years to come. In the meantime, it will provide an easy means for
the boating public to utilize the pier facilities.
ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Friday’s potential opening, with
a grand opening scheduled for late October.