Popular spot at Folly pier closed for piling repairs

A section of the Folly Beach pier is closed to the public because of ongoing repairs to some of the pilings. Officials said 13 pilings are being strengthened. The section was closed to keep fishermen out of the area located at the end of the pier.

A prime spot at the Folly Beach pier was closed Wednesday because of ongoing repairs to a support piling that was found to be detached from the ocean floor, officials said.

King mackerel anglers use the affected area, located at the end of the pier. Shutting it to the public avoids the risk of workers being injured by fishing hooks, said Tom O’Rourke, executive director of the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission.

The closed part of the pier is on the east side of the structure, just past the pavilion. A structural engineer recommended keeping the public out of the area while the repairs are done, officials said.

The effort is happening as part of a larger project to strengthen 40 pilings that were determined during routine inspection to need reinforcement. The cost of the work and how long it will take was not immediately available. The pier has 300 pilings.

The nearly 20-year-old pier has faced similar issues before. After Hurricane Irene passed offshore two years ago, officials checking the beach for damage saw an exposed, deteriorating piling. In a precautionary move, two “Moonlight Mixer” dances at the pier were cancelled, and structural engineers inspected the pilings.

The Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier stretches 1,045 feet and is the second-longest pier on the east coast. It is among the most popular PRC attractions.