Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Permitting Process Will Delay Pier, One Contractor Claims

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Permitting Process Will Delay Pier, One Contractor Claims

Article excerpt

Byline: Caren Burmeister, Shorelines staff writer

A firm negotiating for the contract to build a new Jacksonville Beach oceanfront pier has said up front that the long-awaited project won't be completed by Sept. 1, 2003, when Jacksonville wants the job done.

Because of the lengthy state and federal permitting process required for building the pier, officials with Ed Waters & Son Contracting of Jacksonville said the yearlong process could take months to begin.

But company officials had no estimate this week of how long the permitting process could take, and when the pier could be finished.

"Given the realities of the permitting process, we do not expect the project to be complete by the Sept. 1, 2003, desired date," the contracting firm's proposal said.

The work schedule could be delayed since the contractor will need to get several environmental permits from state and federal agencies, including a state submerged lands lease that may require approval from the governor and Cabinet. The submerged lands lease refers to land under navigable waterways that belongs to the state, not private owners.

Ed Waters, which has about 40 years' experience in marine construction, is negotiating a contract with Jacksonville building officials to build the new $3.2 million fishing pier at Fourth Avenue North.

"We're happy about it," said Ed Waters Vice President Van Hogan. "Everyone wants to see this project move forward. It's a nice asset for the community."

Three companies presented designs to Jacksonville building officials on July 19 for a handicapped-accessible pier that is 1,250 feet long and 20 feet wide. The city also wants the pier to have concrete pilings, a wooden deck, concession stand and restrooms, and a 30-by-48-foot area at the end for fireworks demonstrations. …

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