Here’s what Flagler Beach’s new pier may look like

Previous hurricanes damaged historic pier

FLAGLER BEACH, Fla. – Designs are coming along for the new Flagler Beach pier.

The iconic wooden pier has been battered by storms over the last decade. Now, the city says they’re going to build a taller and tougher one to withstand storms.

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The new pier will be wider, taller and concrete instead of wood, according to the city’s initial plans for it.

“We’re only going to tie into it as much of the history as we can afford to save and then the rest will be brand new,” city manager William Whitson said.

The first designs were presented to the city this week by the engineering firm Moffat and Nichol.

Whitson said they will keep the A-frame and first 100 feet of the historic pier, which was built in 1928. The new pier will also be about 10 feet taller and 5 feet wider.

“We’re going to push to go out to the original 800 feet. We’re going to try for a T or octagon on the end to make it more storm resistant and make it wider and more of an event space,” he said.

That’s the key: Engineering it to be storm-resistant.

The iconic Flagler Beach pier will remain closed, city leaders have decided, after Hurricane Ian caused roughly $2 million in damage to the landmark. While the restaurant and other businesses toward the dunes will be allowed to stay open for now, the city will move ahead with a project to replace the wooden structure with a new concrete pier.

Hurricane Matthew took 160 feet off of the pier in 2016 and Irma battered it in 2017. The city was planning to replace it soon but then Hurricane Ian last fall took another 120 feet of it. Whitson said it was safer to close immediately.

“It helps us. It’s basically what Flagler Beach is all about - that pier,” Funky Pelican manager Dennis Kemper said.

Kemper said for the restaurant that’s attached to the pier, the closures have cost business.

“We had a lot of people think we were closed after the hurricanes, but we were only closed for three or four days,” he said.

The city is now working to get final designs and permits. Whitson said it will cost about $18 million. He’s working with the state to get funding now, but FEMA will cover the majority.

“75% federal, 25% state and local,” he said.

Whitson said if everything goes to plan to get that work started next year, they hope to have it done by 2025.

[WATCH BELOW: Drone video shows damage to Flagler Beach pier caused by Hurricane Ian]

Police in Flagler Beach are urging people not to go to the pier because they say it sustained “significant” damage from Hurricane Ian.

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About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.