Although it may not boast the same level of grandeur as the St. Pete Pier, it certainly serves its purpose well. Thanks to the support of a federal grant and a tax initiative approved by voters, Fort De Soto’s enhanced pier is set to make its long-awaited debut to the public next week.
The renowned Pinellas County park will play host to a ribbon-cutting ceremony in honor of the new Bay Pier at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 28. Joining in the celebration will be Paul Cozzie, the Director of Parks & Conservation Resources, and Janet C. Long, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners.
The original Bay Pier at Fort De Soto Park, originally built in 1943, was recently dismantled due to its deteriorating condition. In its place, a new and improved pier has been constructed at the same location, featuring sturdy concrete pilings, robust concrete beams, and a durable concrete deck.
This modern pier is equipped with subtle low-level deck lighting, convenient fish cleaning stations, and a shaded area designed to accommodate the Egmont Key Ferry, which has been temporarily relocated from the nearby Fort De Soto boat ramp.
The extensive pier replacement project commenced in 2019 and was funded with $4,764,300 from the Penny for Pinellas infrastructure tax, supplemented by an additional $1 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration.
For those eager to explore the new pier, it can be found on the eastern side of Fort De Soto Park, precisely located at 3500 Pinellas Bayway South in Tierra Verde.