There were no visible structures or pilings left along the sand on Thursday morning, as the DOT Construction team orchestrating the removal of the Frisco Pier made noticeable progress over the course of a week.
Only pilings in the water remained as fishermen took advantage of the good weather and newly open shoreline, while sightseers stopped by to get a glimpse of the spot where the pier used to be.
The main pier parking lot and immediate area that surrounds the former pier site remained closed off to the public as of Thursday morning, and piles of debris and pilings could be spotted just behind the dune line.
The next step in the process will be to address the pilings that remain in the water, which includes 120 pilings that are completely hidden and are under the water’s surface. Divers will be used to remove these pilings in their entirety, which may be buried up to 30 ft. deep.
The Frisco (aka Cape Hatteras) Pier was built in 1960, but began to deteriorate in the 2000s.
In 2010 – before the pier was damaged by a series of hurricanes starting with 2010’s Hurricane Earl – the cost to repair the pier was estimated at roughly $2 million dollars. The proposal to remove the pier began in 2013, in response to safety concerns of debris both in the water, and washing ashore.
The project in its entirety is slated to be completed by May 2018, however there may be unforeseen weather delays that hinder the divers’ upcoming work.
When the pier was operational, the parking lot and the road that led to the structure were both privately owned, however after the project is over, the parking lot and road will remain open to the public, and a future comfort station with restrooms – perhaps similar to the Bathhouse in Hatteras village – is being considered as well.
In the meantime, the site will be barricaded during the duration of the project for safety.