Damaged piers need repairs after Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Trash is all over the place, the dock is still stuck in the mangroves, and things spread across the ground, making a beautiful area look less aesthetic after Hurricane Ian.

The Tarpon Street Pier and Riverside Park were wrecked in the surge from Ian, and there has been no visible effort to clean or repair them.

But during a sit-down, the mayor of Fort Myers told WINK News about plans to upgrade the area for the future potentially.

The missing pier is a clear indicator of the ferocity and indifference Ian had toward Southwest Florida. But people know the future of Tarpon Street will only be brighter.

The missing Tarpon Street Pier. CREDIT: WINK News

The Tarpon Street Pier used to stretch far out into the Caloosahatchee, where Kristen McElligatt enjoyed casually walking around.

“I walk this way pretty much seven days a week. I used to walk the pier, but it’s gone since Ian,” McElligatt said.

After Ian, the pier is a dead end right before the water. But, getting on the river from Tarpon St. might just be the property’s new life.

The Tarpon Street Pier is a dead end after Hurricane Ian. CREDIT: WINKN News

“There’s a good chance that that will be our boat ramp,” Kevin Anderson, the mayor of Fort Myers, said.

“I think there would be a lot of people that would utilize the boat ramp,” McElligatt said.

Similarly, the pier down the street to Riverside Park is in pretty bad shape. Mayor Anderson shared some thoughts about the repairs on that pier.

Riverside Pier ruined after Hurricane Ian. CREDIT: WINK News

“Those are going to take time. Of course, you know, everything has to be done in a priority on a priority list,” Anderson said.

Whatever project would be done at Riverside Park comes with some limits. The city bought the land in 1999 and agreed to certain restrictions on the property, like no motorized boating facilities.

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