Bradenton Beach to begin construction on new fishing pier

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BRADENTON, Fla. -- This is the city of Bradenton Beach's fishing pier--in 2007. Its visitors enjoyed the view from its "t" shaped end.

Now, half of the pier is closed, considered too dangerous for anyone to walk on.

The pier was damaged after a boat collided with the structure.

"It was over a year ago that a boat ran into our pier, which did severe damage that made it unsafe." Stated Mayor Bill Shearon

When it was originally built this structure served a much different purpose.

"It was built back when it was the original road to the island back in the 1920s."

While it no longer serves that purpose, officials are ready to tear it down and start from scratch.

"The pier will be completely replaced; there will be new pilings, new trex decking and new side rails."

The city of Bradenton beach has the official state fishing license-- so whether you are a resident or a visitor you can come out here to fish.

"Anybody can come and fish free without even a state fishing license."

And because of that the new pier will also have some new amenities.

"There will be some fish stands, chairs and benches."

The construction will be done by Duncan Seawall, a local dock building company.

"It’s a local company doing local business and Duncan Seawall has a past record with the city and with Manatee County."

The mayor says this project will cost about one and a half million dollars to complete-- and will be split between the city of Bradenton Beach and Manatee County.

"Basically it's a match, a 50/50 match this is unique for Manatee County."

"We’re working very closely with the county but Bradenton Beach has the responsibility of completing the project."

A project that business owners like Sherman Baldwin, the senior captain with paradise boat tours are pleased about.

"Knowing this icon has gotten a facelift will only attract more people to this area and to the beauty of Bradenton Beach,” stated Capt. Sherman Baldwin.

"Now the mayor tells me that construction is set to begin as early as August of this year.