FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - The new, reconstructed pier on Folly Beach opened to the public, Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission officials say.
The pier was closed to the public on Oct. 19, 2020 for a complete rebuilding project that was expected to take approximately 28 months, but the work was finished ahead of schedule, CCPRC spokesperson Sarah Reynolds said.
“We are thrilled to be opening the new Folly Beach Pier just in time for the holidays,” CCPRC executive director Kevin Bowie said. “The Folly Beach Pier is a Lowcountry icon and we look forward to welcoming our community and visitors for generations to come.”
Most of the new 1,049-foot-long Folly Beach Pier is 25 feet wide, with a wooden walkway and railings built on concrete pilings and substructure. Two locations of the pier were slightly widened and covered, at 33 feet wide, allowing additional space for fishing.
The pier stands 22 feet above sea level on 228 concrete pilings. The Diamond Head platform at the end of the pier is 7,500 square feet in size and the pier includes shade structures and benches.
In the event of a large storm, wooden walkway panels are designed to break away.
The new pier offers unobstructed ocean views, more efficient pedestrian access and modern improvements.
The newly rebuilt pier also boasts a longer lifespan, expected to be more than 65 years, than most wooden piers.
Pier operating hours are currently 8 a.m. to sunset (operating hours vary throughout the year).
Amenities at the Folly Beach Pier include restrooms, the Pier 101 Restaurant and Bar, beach access, showers, and the Gangplank Gift & Tackle Shop which offers rod rentals and also sells gifts, sundry items, refreshments and tackle and bait.
The pier’s special events are scheduled to return in 2023, including the popular fishing tournaments and Moonlight Mixer dance series.
In addition, the Charleston County Parks Foundation will host a special fundraising event called Folly Pier Fest on March 11.
The pier’s rectangular deck behind the Pier 101 restaurant, along with the gift shop and restrooms, reopened May 2021. For additional information on all that the Folly Beach Pier has to offer, visit www.ccprc.com/follypier.
The Folly Beach Pier’s parking lot will undergo renovations for a brief period in January. During this time, the parking lot along with the pier, restrooms, gift shop, beach access, and Pier 101 restaurant will be closed. Please stay tuned to CharlestonCountyParks.com for details on the timeline for this closure.
The pier dates back to the 1930s, but the most recent Folly Beach Pier, which is owned by CCPRC, opened on July 4, 1995. The entirely wooden pier eventually began deteriorating, its pilings impacted by marine borers as well as wear and tear from the ocean environment.
CCPRC crews began dive inspections of the pier pilings in 2013, and encapsulated many of the pilings in an effort to strengthen them, kill the marine borers, and maintain the integrity of the pier. Though the pier was maintained regularly to keep it safe for the public, pile deterioration is a continuous process that cannot be stopped. Wooden timber pile piers typically have an average life expectancy of 20 to 25 years.
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