FOLLY BEACH — The “apron” portion of the Folly Beach Pier, including the gift shop, observation deck and beach access, has reopened after nearly seven months of construction.
The iconic fishing attraction closed in October after becoming heavily damaged by shipworms. A new pier will replace the 25-year-old structure.
The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission said the new pier will provide unobstructed views of the ocean, modern improvements and a longer lifespan. Portions of the pier’s walkway will be widened to allow additional fishing opportunities and efficient pedestrian access.
Replacement efforts will cost $14 million.
According to county parks, the new pier will be reminiscent of the old wooden structure. It will be designed and constructed using a combination of concrete pilings and wooden decking, benches and shade structures.
Remaining portions of the 1,039-foot pier, including the walkway, are expected to remain closed until the spring of 2023. The Pier 101 Restaurant and bar could open as early as spring 2022.
Fishing off the pier is not yet available.
Lifeguards will return to duty on weekends starting May 29 and daily from June 21 through mid-August.
More parking near the pier is now available. The pier’s parking lot closed at the start of the construction, but about 30 spaces have reopened for visitors.
“Due to limited parking, visitors are encouraged to arrive early, carpool when possible, and expect delays entering the parking lot,” the county parks said in a release.
Parking during the summer season, which ends on Labor Day, is $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends and select holidays. And although parking at the pier is no longer a Gold Pass benefit, people who purchased their passes before Nov. 30, 2020, may still use them to access the parking lot until they expire.
More updates on the construction project can be found online at charlestoncountyparks.com.