May 8, 2018

Avon Pier Reopens after March Nor’easter Damage


The Avon Pier reopened on Friday, May 4, after finishing repairs which stemmed from a series of nor’easters that occurred throughout the month of March.

According to Pier Manager, Keith Matthews, the pier fared well during the bulk of the winter, but it was the March storms, and the subsequent loss of beach, that caused damage that needed to be addressed before the pier could reopen for the season.

The early spring nor’easters caused noticeable erosion throughout the central and southern Avon shoreline, from roughly the site of the Avon Pier to the southern town limits.

“We had three or four nor’easters, back to back,” said Matthews, “and we lost so much beach from these storms, both vertically and horizontally. The storms exposed a lot of pilings that were put in place in 1963, so we added nine pilings in
the beach area to make that area more secure.”

“Out in the water we did fine,” he said. “It was the loss of beach area that caused problems.”

In addition to the new pilings, the pier also had to repair and reestablish its power supply, as the underground power lines had to be moved overhead after the erosion cut away sections of the beach.

The Avon Pier traditionally opens on Good Friday, as it is the venue for the local Avon Easter Sunrise Service. This year, because of the early spring storm damage, the service was moved to the adjacent Beach Klub, as repairs at the pier were underway.  

“My grandmother always said if you have a nice February, you’ll have to pay for it in March,” said Matthews, “and that is exactly what happened.”

But after a successful inspection last week, the pier opened to the public on Friday, May 4, and attracted a solid crowd, as well as great weather that lingered through Saturday.

“My goal was to open on May 4, and we did open on the 4th at 6 a.m.,” said Matthews. “Other than doing little things as we go along, we’re doing great, and we’re looking forward to having a busy year. Hopefully we can have a good spring, and a quiet tropical season.”

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