MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - After nearly four years of waiting, the iconic Springmaid Pier will reopen in a month.
The Springmaid Pier has been around since the 1950s, but for the past few years, the only people who have been on it are construction workers.
At more than 1,000 feet, the Springmaid Pier is one of the longest in the state of South Carolina. Because of its length, the pier extends deep waters and is known for its good fishing.
But on October 8, 2016, the Springmaid Pier was ravaged by then Category 1 Hurricane Matthew, and 900 feet of the pier had to be replaced.
“That was real hard to watch, and it took us a good couple of years to get through the regulatory process and through all the government agencies to get all the permitting and get it started," said Myrtle Beach DoubleTree by Hilton General Manager Michael Frits. "We’ve been working on the actual construction for a little over a year.”
That construction is nearly complete, and the pier features several improvements so it can withstand any storm.
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“It’s really sturdy now," said Frits. "It’s got steel pilings reinforced with concrete and rebar. It’s got really heavy, thick decking, and it’s been lifted off the water an additional eight feet to avoid getting wiped out by another storm.”
Reopening during the coronavirus pandemic may not seem ideal, but the pier is coincidentally designed just for it.
“The good news is the handrails out there are all spaced with balusters six feet apart, so it’s perfect," said Frits. "We can literally line people up and keep them properly socially distanced and yet get them out in the open air, get them out fishing, get them out enjoying South Carolina again.”
The pier is actually ahead of schedule right now, and it’s expected to be reopened on June 1.