The Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners, Ed Waters and Sons Contracting Company and PBS&J will host a ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 5 to open the long awaited new Navarre Beach Pier. The public is invited to attend the event in front of the pier located at 8579 Gulf Boulevard. At 1,545 feet, the pier is the longest in the State of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
The completion of the new Navarre Beach Pier is the result of five years of patience and hard work of Santa Rosa County citizens, staff and contractors. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan destroyed the “T” end design of the pier and Hurricane Dennis destroyed the mid section in July 2005. The opening of the new pier completes the last major county hurricane recovery project of 2004 and 2005.
Commissioners originally approved the design of a 1,500 feet pier. In late October 2009, Ed Waters and Sons Contracting Company approached county leaders with an idea- extend the pier by 45 feet, making it the longest pier in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, and they would donate the labor, equipment, supervision and overhead. At the November 12 commission meeting, the extension plan was approved.
The new pier was budgeted at $8.43 million, which included the demolition and removal of the old fishing pier. Ninety percent of the project budget was paid for by utilizing FEMA federal aid for disaster recovery funds for improved projects with a state share of 7.5 percent and the county funding 2.5 percent or $210,626. The approved 45 foot extension is estimated at $125,000, bringing the county’s total to $335,626.
Admission to the pier will be waived Saturday, June 5 and Sunday, June 6. Starting on Monday, June 7, pier tickets for fishing are $7 for adults, $4.50 for youth, $6 for seniors and free for disabled veterans. Admission for walkers is $1. Weekly and annual passes are also available. The initial hours of operation for the 2010 summer are 4 a.m.- 10 p.m., seven days a week.