As of May 13, the Folly Beach Pier rebuilds first phase of construction on the “apron” section (the rectangular deck behind the restaurant and gift shop) has been completed. The Gangplank Gift & Tackle Shop, observation deck, restrooms, and showers are open and accessible to the public, while replacement construction continues for the remainder of the pier structure. These amenities, including beach access, are available daily from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. The walkway section of the Folly Beach Pier will be closed throughout the entire construction project, which is slated to be finished in the spring of 2023.
Folly visitors should note that beach access will be affected when the loading of equipment and material onto the pier and public parking at the pier will be impacted throughout the construction period. Following apron section completion, a limited number of spaces (approximately 30) are available for public use at the Folly Pier parking lot, which is located at 101 E. Artic Ave. Parking fees apply, and motorists can expect delays when entering the parking lot.
Pier 101 Restaurant & Bar is temporarily closed for now but is scheduled to reopen and welcome back patrons in spring 2022. Since fishing from the pier is prohibited during construction, CCPRC recommends alternative spots for casting lines, including Folly Beach County Park and Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve for surf fishing, Sol Legare Boat Landing for dock Mount Pleasant Pier for pier fishing.
Owned and operated by the Charleston County Parks & Recreation Commission (CCPRC), the pier, which opened in 1995, has been maintained regularly. Still, its condition deteriorated due to marine borers (mollusks that burrow into and damage wood) and wore from the ocean environment. It was closed to the public on Oct. 19, 2020, for a replacement project.
CCPRC replaces the existing structure with one reminiscent of the old pier that will also provide unobstructed views of the ocean, modern improvements, and a longer lifespan. The new pier will be designed and constructed using prestressed concrete piles, a concrete substructure, and concrete beams—which will significantly extend the pier’s life. It will continue to offer all of the features visitors love about the existing pier, including fishing stations, places to watch the sunset, and the beloved Moonlight Mixer dance series, along with amenities such as public restrooms, retail facilities, benches, and a shade structure over the pier head. Two locations along the pier walkway will be slightly widened to allow additional fishing opportunities and more efficient pedestrian access. Its length (1,039 feet) will be essentially the same as the former pier and entail the diamond-shaped pier head.
For people wishing to keep a souvenir of the former pier, the construction firm working on the project will be salvaging pilings from the current pier, and pieces of those will be made available for purchase from Charleston County Parks at a later date. Proceeds from the sale of piling pieces will benefit the Charleston County Parks Foundation.
To follow status updates of the Folly Beach Pier construction, visit CharlestonCountyParks.com/pierprogress. The website will be updated regularly with information and photos of pier progress.
Source: Charleston County Parks & Recreation Commission