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Pier, bridges and beach get new look at Folly

The Folly Beach Pier, shrouded in fog on Friday, is getting a major makeover. Workers are replacing the pilings and deck boards as part of routine maintenance. Part of the diamond at the end of the pier is closed for the repairs. Buy this photo

FOLLY BEACH - From new bridges and better beaches to a pier makeover, the times are changing at the Edge of America.

"Folly is getting all kinds of stuff. It's so different out there now," said Sarah Reynolds, spokeswoman for the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission.

The PRC is overhauling the second-longest pier on the East Coast as part of a maintenance project expected to be finished by mid-May.

"Recently there have been rough seas and some of the wave conditions have caused delays," Reynolds said.

The work includes swapping out 750 bolts used to attach pilings to the pier and replacing 10 timber cross-beams.

Forty of the pier's 300 pilings will be new.

A section of the diamond-shaped seaward end of the pier has been shut because it is a staging ground for a diving operation that is part of piling replacement work.

Workers topside have been busy hammering in new deck planks. Weathered wood and new lumber create a two-tone look.

The pier, which opened in 1995, has experienced normal wear and tear, Reynolds said.

"We're always inspecting it and making sure that it is up to safety standards," she said.

The rehab work, which began in October, is costing about $200,000, she said.

The island entrance gets a new $11 million look with state-funded replacement bridges under construction over the Folly River and Folly Creek. Both will have wider traffic and bike lanes and better walkways. The project is scheduled for completion in June of next year.

And last, but far from least, a $30 million beach renourishment project is pumping offshore sand onto nearly five miles of the island to replace what has been lost due to Mother Nature and the Charleston Harbor jetties. Look for that mostly federally funded effort to wrap up in June.

"It's been a busy time," said Mayor Tim Goodwin.

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