SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Those who are eager to visit and walk on the new Surfside Beach pier were given an update at Tuesday’s town council meeting.

The official grand opening date for the pier was discussed for either April or May 2024. There was even some discussion about opening on Memorial Day next year.

Gerald Vincent, the town administrator, told News13 on Wednesday that the pier will be open in either September or October for soft opening and the plan is for grand opening to be in April, but both plans for soft and grand openings are still being made.

The pier will be open for walking between those openings, but it will be closed for fishing while tenants open, according to Vincent. He said there is not a timeline for when tenants will open, but Drippy’s, a homemade ice cream shop, should be the first.

The soft opening of the pier will cost between $8,000 and $15,000, Vincent said.

Town officials said the parking lot, among several other things, are still in progress. Councilmembers also said it will be a “couple more weeks at least” until construction for the pier is completed.

“There’s a lot of tourists here looking forward to this pier for [however] many years and it’s still not complete,” said Richard Howey, a Surfside Beach vacationer. “We spend a lot of money here and, you know, we look forward to this kind of stuff.”

Rob Clemons, the town’s fire chief who recently announced his plans to resign, told News13 in May that a “substantial completion date” for the new pier was set for early August.

The concrete pier has been under construction since December 2020. It replaces the former pier, which was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

Below is a timeline compiled from News13’s previous coverage about the pier.

  • Original pier had been there since 1953
  • Hurricane Matthew damages pier in October 2016, Mayor Bob Hellyer said about 50% of pier damaged
  • Four years later in July 2020, bid of project awarded to Orion Marine Construction but votes were rescinded and awarded to Consensus Construction instead in September 2020 for $14.6 million
  • Groundbreaking begins in December 2020, says it will take 18-22 months to complete
  • President of contracting company said in February 2022 that the pier would be walkable in July 2022
  • Stop work order issued due to permits and miscommunication, lifted after one day in October 2022 — president says completion expected in spring 2023
  • Hellyer says in January that pier construction will complete in April
  • Fire Chief Rob Clemons says in May “substantial completion date” set for early August
  • Town Administrator Gerald Vincent says Wednesday pier will now open in late September/early October for soft opening

Tuesday’s meeting was at full capacity and the town denied access to people as a result.

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Caleb is a digital producer at News13. Caleb joined the team in January 2023 after graduating from Liberty University. He is from Northern Virginia. Follow Caleb on Twitter and read more of his work here.

Adrianna Lawrence is a multimedia journalist at News13. Adrianna is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and joined the News13 team in June 2023 after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2023. Keep up with Adrianna on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can also read more of her work, here.

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