Safety concerns shut down portion of Boca Grande pier

Published: Updated:

BOCA GRANDE, Fla.- A portion of the Boca Grande Fishing Pier is shut down until further notice amidst safety concerns.

“The northern-most 36 feet of the side of the pier had some potential for structural instability,” said Tina Powell, division manager of Charlotte County’s Parks and Natural Resources.

The pier was built on top of old railroad trestles first built in 1905. The railroad was used to trek phosphate across the state. To save taxpayer dollars, workers used the trestles from that railroad bridge as support for the pier. After a few decades, the trestles are now rotting away.

“It doesn’t surprise me knowing the history of Gasparilla Island,” said Andrew Larsen, just one of many who enjoy fishing at the pier.

“This is a great fishing spot, we’ve been coming here for eight years. We fly all the way from Scotland to come fishing here,” said Phil Collinge. “They took two fishing spots, the best two fishing spots on the pier, out!”

“It’s good fishing usually too here, I don’t know where else you would go!” said Bill Werner.

Charlotte County leaders say they’re doing their best to restore the fishing pier as quickly as possible. Parks and Resources workers are meeting with engineers next week to figure the best way to make repairs and how to pay for them.

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