Woodson To Push For Bigger Pier Today

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Fort Myers Beach Town Council member Karen Woodson plans to speak during public comment today at the Lee County Board of Commissioners meeting. The County is expected to approve a contract with Stantec to design a new fishing pier on Fort Myers Beach.

The contract with Stantec lays out a design for the replacement fishing pier “based on keeping the pier in the same general footprint with a 12-ft wide approach.” The previous pier that was swept away by Hurricane Ian was 8 feet wide. Woodson wants the County Commissioners to know that the Fort Myers Beach Town Council would like a longer pier as well as a wider pier. Lee County owns the pier and, so far, has not committed any additional funds toward building a pier outside what they FEMA will reimburse them.

The previous pier was 560 feet long. A group of Fort Myers Beach residents would like to see a longer pier (about 900 feet total) and would like the added length to be paid for with Bed Tax funds. It’s unclear what part of the design process, the group on Fort Myers Beach hoping for a bigger pier would be able to voice their concerns. Stantec is required to formulate a public information plan.

The contract with Stantec also removes the bait house structure. A shade structure, rather than an enclosed structure, will be placed in the footprint of the previous bait house structure.

Stantec’s work will begin within 30 days of the Commissioner’s accepting the contract today. The design phase of the project is expected to take 18 months to 2 years. When the design phase is complete bids will be sent out for a contractor to build the pier based on Stantec’s design so a final product is still several years away.

14 COMMENTS

  1. 18 months to 2 years just for design? Do they just work 3-4 days a month? Can’t believe design takes that long. Ridiculous!!

  2. There is talk of a bait shop at the entrance. Current code does not allow any “water supported” businesses over the gulf. To answer the why bigger question- one word, capacity.

    • Fish are in deeper water , also serves as protection of swimmers by keeping Boats farther from swimmers – its way more than just a fishing pier – in todays world everyone wants pictures and piers are HUGE when it comes to pictures , travelers, trips – Great PR-
      I’ve been on the newer piers in Panama City and key west – they are HUGE – my guess over 20’ wide and much longer than FMB- people jog out on them , hang out – ENJOY FMB

  3. I like Mike’s idea of a restaurant, but if the pier is going to be similar to the old one, why does it need to be any bigger? We’re full-time residents and except for February and March, the pier was typically pretty empty. Use the additional money for something more important.

  4. Designing a wider and longer pier makes sense (although this process should have started a year ago). A shade structure and a restaurant similar to Anna Maria Islands that includes a bait shop would really be beneficial plus generate additional revenue .

  5. A good business opportunity for someone to put in the new time sq whether in storage shed, kiosk or brick and mortar. Bait and gear

  6. It’s strange to build a fishing pier with no fishing store or LIVE bait shop; this area is known for catching tons of shrimp, and the small ones are bait or bycatch

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