Lee County Chooses Pier Designer

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On Wednesday the Lee County Procurement Management Department chose international company Stantec Consulting Services to design and permit (not build) the Fort Myers Beach pier. It’s the first step in what’s expected to be a 4-year process to rebuild the structure.

The next step is for Lee County Board of Supervisors to negotiate a contract with Stantec to begin the design and permit work for the pier. The item is not expected to come before the Board of Commissioners for approval until April.

Additional information about the process was provided to us Thursday morning by Lee County: “The project currently is on hold in the FEMA Public Assistance Environmental/Historic Preservation (EHP) queue. The FEMA project being on hold does not affect funding or the County’s design/construction schedule. Once the design has been finalized and provided to FEMA, FEMA will continue its review processes. Public Assistance is a reimbursement program so the County will not receive funds until invoices are received. FEMA understands that the County wishes to restore the pier to its pre-disaster condition. However, EHP will not commence the various consultation processes until the final design has been established. The County has provided the pre-disaster as-built construction plans of the pier; but, changes are anticipated due to new code requirements or current construction materials/processes, therefore EHP will not provide any consultations or approvals. FEMA has been informed that the design process will likely take 12 to 18 months.”

7 companies bid on the project. Stantec has 400 locations on 6 continents and employs 28,000 people.

The Fort Myers Beach pier was totally destroyed in Hurricane Ian on September 28, 2022. Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman has said the rebuild will take up to 4 years due to all the permitting necessary to build a new pier.

It’s unclear at this time of the pier will be built back as it was, which is typically what FEMA wants in order to cover the full cost of build-backs. Hamman said there’s also the possibility the pier could be built back more resilient with FEMA funds. All those details need to be worked out.

Last week the Fort Myers Beach Town Council voiced support for raising the parking fees in Lynn Hall Park from $2.00 per hour to $5.00 per hour to help cover the cost of a bigger pier. Fort Myers Beach does not own Lynn Hall Park, Lee County does.

To this point all indications from Lee County are that the pier will be rebuilt to as close to the way it was. The reason for that is funding. Who’s going to pay for a taller, wider pier?

DRMP was also selected to design the new Lynn Hall Park restroom building which is expected to take as long as the pier to complete.

The pier on Fort Myers Beach is one of the most visited tourist locations in all of Lee County. It’s the perfect location to witness an incredible sunset on Fort Myers Beach.

18 COMMENTS

  1. The main subject that is troublesome are highlighted by 3 main factors in my opinion. It’s fair to say that it’s a no brainer that the redevelopment of Ft. Myers Beach is going to bring an extraordinary amount of money in, far surpassing pre Hurricane Ian ten fold. I also feel that a bridge toll like Sanibel or Tampa has would greatly assist in revenue for the town, county and feel a percentage could also go towards businesses on Estero Island. To build the same pier with what the development of the “new” Ft. Myers Beach will be, and is absolutely incomprehensible. The final part of the 3 large factors is the fact that to even build back the pier the same size and manner as the previous, and having it take 4 years is laughable. The City of Detroit is wrapping up a new international expansion bridge connecting the United States with Canada in not much different of a timeline. If this plan and development of the new pier goes forward, it will be a complete failure of governm

  2. Are you kidding me. All the money that’s going to becoming on to the island and it will be the same Small pier. Four years what a joke .

  3. If the Clown Town Council CTC says it will be 4 yrs make it another 4 yrs. Remember this is just the design which will probably look like the same skinny crap we had before!

  4. The lack of vision, common sense and logic demonstrated by County Commissioners regarding the pier is dumbfounding. It is understood that none of the commissioners will be around for the completion of the pier, however, when they have an opportunity to improve swimmer/boater safety as well as the visitor experience and dismiss it it is just another example of the lack of concern our county leaders have for FMB

  5. To REBUILD the Pier the SAME WIDTH is LUDICROUS. We should all go to the meeting and do a RE-ENACTMENT of Two couples walking towards each other holding fishing poles and buckets etc. on the OLD Pier Dimension. They then will realize that a WIDER Pier is NECESSARY, and FEMA and the COUNTY can see how Absurd this is to rebuild the same width.

  6. It seems like a sad state of affairs to take 4 years to rebuild a pier. As rediculous as roofs in Cape Coral still waiting to be repaired ! What is this – a project as huge as rebuilding the World Trade Center was in New York or something ? And that project used a hell of a lot more cement. Yes right – the pier should be bigger (wider actually ) to accommodate much bigger crowds. But at the same time $5.00 an hour seems a lot and assures people that they won’t be able to go there ( at least not go there very often) and relax in a beautiful environment without worrying that they might break their budget. And by the time the project is finally finished that $5.00 and hour will already be bumped up to $8.00 or $10.00 or $12.00 an hour like we were paying to park in New York, or New Orleans, or The entertainment district in Nashville or something.

  7. Who was the contractor that remodeled/repaired the restroom facilties at Lynn Hall Park just before IAN and why can’t they be used to rebuild since it will probably could be done cheaper and quicker, unless that’s the reason.

  8. 1 1/2 years to pick a design firm. 6 mos. to negotiate a contract with said firm. 1 year to select a contractor. 6 months to negotiate contract with said contractor. 18 mos. to finalize with FEMA and permits. 2 weeks to demolish old pier. 1 month to build new pier.,

  9. This saga will be very interesting to follow! Four years…. Bet it will take even longer. They are already mentioning and preparing for the permitting process….. maybe they need to hire a company to run fund-raisers also!!

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