County Pier – Construction Update

With progress being made in leaps and bounds, the city pier is on target to be completed first part of 2009. Originally estimated to be around 6 months behind the city pier, the county pier project is now scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2010, more than 12 months behind the city pier.

So, what is taking so long? Well, it turns out, building a new pier is no small task, especially when the new pier is three times as long as the old pier.

Originally the county pier on Panama City Beach was 500 feet long. Surrounded by beautiful waters and an enormous chunk of undeveloped land the county pier has been the favorite of locals and visitors alike. At the foot of the pier lies hundreds of square feet of solid-ground open area that provides for plenty of recreation. With all the parking, it is no wonder that it was a thriving night-life spot.

The design of the county pier will be identical to the new city pier that is now under construction at Pier Park. Flying out over the water more than a quarter mile, both piers will tower 26 feet above the Gulf of Mexico.

In order to begin construction, four things have to happen.

  • Bay County has to receive the Joint Coastal Permit (JCP) from the state
  • A new submerged land lease has to be issued by the state
  • The Army Corps of Engineers need to issue their approval through a permit
  • Approval from FEMA to get the grant

With the new pier being so much longer than the old pier, Bay County has to apply for and get approved a new submerged land lease from the State of Florida. The existing lease only allows the county to rebuild to the original specs. The application for the new submerged land lease and Corps of Engineer permit requires the JCP which should be in on Monday, according to the Bay County Planning and Zoning Department.

How’s that for a step by step on what’s going on?

When are they going to start? When they get the money – January 2009. Estimated construction time is 450 days putting the estimated completion date in March or April 2010, right in line with the opening of the new airport!

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