Lee County Commissioners vote for $11M replacement for Fort Myers Beach Pier

Reporter: Asha Patel Writer: Carolina Guzman
Published: Updated:

Lee County Commissioners have chosen the more expensive option for replacing the Fort Myers Beach Pier, which will cost the county more than $11 million.

At that meeting, commissioners compared the Fort Myers Beach pier to the St. Pete pier, which is filled with restaurants, shops and all kinds of activities.

You can’t compare the two because they have different concepts, but looking at the St. Pete Pier and seeing how long and wide it is gives one a sense of what could come to Fort Myers Beach.

“We move forward with option three unanimously, four to zero,” said a commissioner.

Lee County commissioners chose nearly double the size of the current Fort Myers Beach Pier.

“I don’t want to go to the beach anymore and see the pilings sticking out. I want people to go and think we have gotten back after Hurricane Ian,” said Commissioner Brian Hamman.

The plan is to make it 1,000 feet long and widen it to 12 feet, which is an $11 million expansion.

“There are some communities here that have some really nice piers,” said Hamman.

Commissioner Kevin Ruane mentioned St. Pete’s pier.

“It’s the closest one I’ve been to from the amenity point of view. A number of people are on there, I can tell you it certainly seems big,” said Ruane.

The St. Pete pier is 400 feet longer than the pier coming to Fort Myers Beach, but commissioners said this gives people an idea of what’s to come.

“You say you go to St. Pete, and they say make sure you go out to the pier. I’m sure the vendors are thrilled to have it because there’s a lot of commercial enterprises here,” said a St. Pete local.

Locals in St. Pete said this is the hot spot all year around, mainly because of its width.

“This is big. This is spread out. You can have deck chairs over here. Even though it gets crowded, it feels like it’s not so crowded, and like I said, it’s something for everyone,” said a St. Pete local.

By making the Fort Myers Beach Pier broader and longer, commissioners hope to have a similar outcome: more people.

Another big difference is that St. Pete has restaurants and bars, while Fort Myers Beach does not.

Construction is supposed to start by September of 2025.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.