Worms damaging Folly Beach pier; Money needed for repairs, replacement

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) — The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission will take its first steps in rebuilding the Folly Beach pier Thursday, officials said. Members of the commission plan to ask the Charleston County Finance Committee for $45,135,000 dollars over the course of five years, which would go to around 20 different county park improvement projects.

The most significant would be rebuilding the Folly Beach pier due to marine borer worms, which officials say are eating away the wooden piling supporting the pier.

RELATED: Emergency work being done on Folly Beach pier

“Nothing is set in stone to what the pier will look like,” said Mark Patrick with County Park and Recreation. On the 5-year capital improvements project plan, the County Park and Recreation Commissions allocates $7.5 million to “Folly Beach Fishing Pier-Replace Timber Pile Pier.”

“The first stage will be hiring an engineer to go thru permitting and design phases,” Patrick said. “Then we’ll actually go out and find construction crews to rebuild it.”

At this point, officials say it’s too early to tell if the entire pier will need to be rebuilt, or if they’ll be able to replace the pilings without having to start from scratch. Construction likely won’t begin until 2019, with the final project likely not finished until 2021 at the earliest.

The Park and Recreation Commission plans to ask the Finance Committee for permission to move forward with a series of public hearings on the proposed budget in Thursday’s county finance meeting.

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