MYRTLE BEACH (WBTW) – The Springmaid Pier is officially open to the public again after an extensive rebuild, and this time it’s designed to survive a category four storm.
The new design is about eight-and-a-half feet farther off the water than the old pier, according to Mike Frits, general manager of Double Tree Hilton, owner of the pier. “Its design and interlocking pieces actually move a little so the whole thing doesn’t come apart,” Frits said.
To better protect the pier from future storm damage, it has been reinforced with steel rather than timber and is raised at the end to combat future storm surge.
“It’s a piece of Myrtle Beach that’s been lost for many years,” Frits said. “It’s just so important to get this back for the community right now. Everybody needs something to do something to do right now and get out and enjoy some fresh air and some sunshine and this is a great way to do it.”
The pier, just off the southern point of Ocean Boulevard, succumbed to Hurricane Matthew in 2016 after severe damage. It will be open for daily use while following Myrtle Beach’s social distancing guidelines
Benches located on the Springmaid Pier are separated by six feet in length and all employees will be complying with CDC guidelines.
The gift and tackle shop and Southern Tide Bar & Grille are also open and adhering to social distancing protocol.
Reconstruction on the pier began in May 2019. The approximately year-long construction process proceeded without interruption, allowing the pier to reopen in time for the 4th of July holiday weekend.
Built in 1953 as part of the original Springmaid Resort, the Springmaid Pier became a popular landmark for the area and is now recognized as one of the longest piers on the east coast of the United States.
The newly reopened Springmaid Pier is once again 1,680 feet long and 24 feet wide, and offers amenities such as benches, fish cleaning/washing stations, restrooms and more.
Construction was done by South Carolina-based Cape Romain Contractors.