The walkway section of the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier will be closed to the public starting Oct. 19 for an anticipated 28 months of renovations.
The final day for fishing and public access will be Oct. 18, a date chosen to allow construction to begin at the end of turtle nesting season, Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission said in a news release. The pier will remain closed during the construction period, with reopening expected for spring 2023.
The existing pier, built in 1995, has deteriorated over time from mollusks, crustaceans and natural weathering from the ocean. The replacement structure will be built out of concrete and wood decking that is more durable and should last longer. Its design will harken back to a previous version, with modern improvements and unobstructed ocean views.
The first section of the pier to undergo renovations will be the “apron”— the rectangular deck area behind Pier 101 restaurant, the gift shop and restrooms. Pier 101 already closed for the season Sept. 7, and this area will reopen to the public in spring 2021. During construction, parking will not be available at the pier.
The existing Folly Pier is one of four versions dating back to the 1930s, when the original was built with Palmetto tree logs. It was only 97 feet long compared with today’s 1,045 feet. Two more versions were lost to fires, one in 1960 and another in 1977, leading to the erection of the current Folly Beach Fishing Pier, which opened on July 4, 1995.
In the future, Charleston County Parks will sell salvaged pier pieces as souvenirs.
While construction will be limited to the pier, CCPRC said beach access and public parking will be disrupted occasionally as equipment and materials are loaded on and off the pier.
CCPRC Executive Director David Bennett said the pier has been a Lowcountry landmark for 25 years, a site where thousands of tourists and locals have created memories.
“For the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission and the entire Lowcountry, this is an exciting endeavor,” he said. “We are very proud to be creating a new pier that will serve generations to come.”
The public can follow along with the construction status online.