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JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Nearly six years ago, Hurricane Matthew wiped out part of the Jacksonville Beach Pier, then Hurricane Irma damaged it some more in 2017.
The damage led to a lengthy project to raise and strengthen the pier against future storms.
That project began in 2019, and now three years later — and 12 feet taller — the pier is set to reopen Wednesday at 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Jacksonville Beach Mayor Christine Hoffman.
PHOTOS: Jacksonville Beach Pier to reopen after years of construction
The city said the additional height of the pier should protect it from storm surges and help it withstand future storms.
Paula Brown, who has watched this entire process, is satisfied to finally see the Jacksonville Beach icon ready to reopen.
“This beach needs some more activity going on. There are a lot of locals as well as tourists and all that like to come out here and go fishing,” Brown said.
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According to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department, the reopening will happen in phases.
First, pedestrians will be allowed on the pier daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. City officials and police will be monitoring the pier’s usage daily and gathering community input prior to what the Police Department says will be a “full reopening.”
In two weeks, fishing will return to the pier with a three rod limit and the pier will otherwise comply with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s rules. “A more detailed set of parameters will be released prior to the commencement of fishing,” police said.
At first, the bathrooms and bait shop will not be open. The Police Department said a request for proposals will be released by the city in the coming months, and additional rules and parameters will follow.