Saturday, November 17, 2018
News Roundup

Concrete makes St. Petersburg pier plans more real

ST. PETERSBURG

As the wind whipped the waves in Tampa Bay on Friday, workers went about their jobs building the city’s next downtown pier.

Cranes rose from barges and inside a construction trailer, pictures of a model of the building that will rise at the end of the pier were on display.

As people jogged, strolled, walked their dogs or stopped to gaze through a construction fence, a front-end loader and backhoe beeped as it went back and forth.

The former Pelican parking lot now is a staging area for construction of the $76 million, 26-acre Pier District that will run from Bayshore Drive NE to the pier head and include public boat slips, docks for the Cross Bay Ferry and tall ship Lynx. A children’s play area, splash pad and areas to stroll, relax and fish near the water will be among the other amenities.

City architect Raul Quintana, who has worked on the controversial and drawn-out project for about a decade, sounded elated as he gave an update to the St. Petersburg Downtown Neighborhood Association on Wednesday.

"There’s a lot to be excited about," Quintana told the influential downtown group. "A lot of it is real and it’s getting more real."

He spoke of his partnership over the years with Chris Ballestra, managing director of development coordination, on the onerous effort to build a new pier.

"For a long time we got beat up a lot," Quintana said, eliciting chuckles from the crowd. "There’s a lot of history behind this project. There are a lot of things we didn’t do right the first time. I think we got it right this time."

The fruition of the project follows years of objections from citizens who didn’t want the old inverted pyramid pier to be demolished, disagreement about what should replace the structure and how much the new pier would cost.

Now it’s well under way.

The south bridge and the pier head are under construction. One electric and two gas-powered trams will make stops near Bayshore Drive NE, the Pelican lot and at the pier head. Visitors will be able to park near the St. Petersburg Museum of History and at the Pelican lot, which will accommodate cars for both the new restaurant and marina.

On Friday, workers were getting ready to pump concrete to a section of the pier head deck. The deck for the entire pier will be 15 inches thick and topped with a 3-inch concrete slab.

Off Spa Beach, environmental markers indicated sea grass beds that must be avoided during construction. Full-time manatee watchers — seven rotate in the job — look out for the mammals and can temporarily stop the project if any are sighted.

Addressing environmental and sustainability issues are important, Quintana said. The infrastructure will be certified sustainable, he said.

Progress on the long-awaited Pier District means more areas will be closed to the public. On May 1, the construction fence will move nearer to Bayshore Drive. The St. Petersburg Museum of History nearby will remain open, with access from the sidewalk. Access will continue to the Central Basin marina. The Dolphin parking lot will be closed.

The district is expected to be complete in the summer of 2019, with a grand opening in early fall.

Contact Waveney Ann Moore at [email protected] or (727) 892-2283. Follow @wmooretimes.

     
       
Comments
Jesuit pulls off a rare Tampa Bay repeat in state swimming

Jesuit pulls off a rare Tampa Bay repeat in state swimming

STUART — Jesuit boys swim coach Bill Shaffer spent all week trying to score the Class 2A meet. Based off his numbers, the Tigers were not going to have enough to defend their state team title.But in the preliminaries, things changed. Jesuit swi...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Matt Baker’s takeaways from FSU-Boston College

Matt Baker’s takeaways from FSU-Boston College

The announced attendance (57,274) was the smallest announced crowd at Doak Campbell Stadium since the Virginia Tech game in 1988 (50,901). Crowds are down across the sport, but the empty seats were a bad sign in Year 1 of the Willie Taggart Era.RELAT...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Florida State’s bowl streak still alive after comeback upset of Boston College

Florida State’s bowl streak still alive after comeback upset of Boston College

Deondre Francois found Tamorrion Terry for the 74-yard game winning touchdown pass. Now FSU must beat the Gators next week to make a bowl game.
Updated: 4 hours ago
FSU journal: Ground game gets untracked a bit

FSU journal: Ground game gets untracked a bit

TALLAHASSEE — It took until the 11th game, but Florida State's rushing offense finally started to click the way the Seminoles expected with a talented backfield and a coach with a history of excellent runners.FSU rushed 36 times for 156 yards. ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Louis Domingue gets a workout in Lightning’s 6-5 overtime win

Louis Domingue gets a workout in Lightning’s 6-5 overtime win

PHILADELPHIA — The Lightning asked a lot of Louis Domingue on Saturday, allowing a season-high 45 shots.For most of the game against the Flyers, the goalie stood up to them, but Philadelphia applied pressure in the second half of the third peri...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Lightning’s Adam Erne has first career three-point game against Flyers

Lightning’s Adam Erne has first career three-point game against Flyers

Adam Erne had a goal and two assists to cap a crazy week
Updated: 6 hours ago
No. 13 Florida rides Feleipe Franks’ arm to rout Idaho 63-10

No. 13 Florida rides Feleipe Franks’ arm to rout Idaho 63-10

GAINESVILLE — Feleipe Franks passed for 274 yards and three touchdowns — all in the first half — and No. 15 Florida ran up 600 total yards to rout overmatched Idaho 63-10 on SaturdayFlorida rolled to a 49-0 lead at halftime. Gators ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Temple scores 27 unanswered to beat USF 27-17

Temple scores 27 unanswered to beat USF 27-17

PHILADELPHIA — USF's spiral continues.Despite the Bulls' defense answering the call, the offense and special teams failed to respond as the Owls reeled off 27 unanswered points in the second half, storming back for a 27-17 win Saturday at Linco...
Updated: 7 hours ago
USF journal: Duran Bell returns to Bulls’ lineup

USF journal: Duran Bell returns to Bulls’ lineup

PHILADELPHIA — USF running back Duran Bell returned to the field for the first time since the Bulls' Week 2 win against Georgia Tech. He's been out with an unspecified injury.On Saturday, he managed 33 yards on nine carries in the Bulls' 27-17 ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
'You need events like this': Times Festival of Reading draws thousands

'You need events like this': Times Festival of Reading draws thousands

The 26th annual festival highlighted dozens of authors, many of them with Florida connections.
Updated: 8 hours ago