City Manager Joyce Shanahan said construction ran into a type of coquina under the water, though crews were able to drive the pilings through it.
The city of Ormond Beach may soon finish one of its last hurricane repair projects: The Cassen Park pier is scheduled to open in early to mid-April, though the contractor has until May 18 to finish the project.
Repairs to the pier were bid out at $759,125 last October and began in November. The contract was awarded to Brothers Construction Inc., a company from Stuart that also repaired the fishing pier at the Dunlawton Bridge in Port Orange as a result of Hurricane Irma. The hurricane damaged about 6,600 square feet of decking and framing at the Cassen Park pier, leaving only the pilings.
FEMA funds will be covering 75% of the cost, and state grants another 12.5%. The remaining balance will come from the city's general fund.
City Manager Joyce Shanahan said the 100 new pilings, which a city document shows have already been fully installed, are significantly deeper than the original ones. The depth was increased rom 14 feet to a minimum embedment of 26 feet. This is meant to give the pier more stability and help it to withstand future storms.
Approximately 550 feet of pier will be replaced at Cassen Park, with about 200 left to go, she said.
People love the pier, she said, calling it a "vibrant part of our whole pier walking program."
"Many people walk that area on a regular basis and fish from that pier so, we’re delighted to be able to reconnect that pier to the other portions of the pier that were undamaged to complete that loop for walking and fishing," Shanahan said.
While the project has been running smoothly — with framing 50% complete and decking 45% complete as of Feb. 8, according to a staff report — Shanahan did note that construction ran into a type of coquina under the water, something that she thought was interesting.
Shanahan said that the soil at 18-25 feet in is classified as dense sand with shell fragments.
"It could be a form of coquina but is not rock," she said in an email. "Our contractor encountered it with the result that it took longer to get the pile through this zone but they managed to drive the piles through it."
The city continues to wait for its $6 million FEMA reimbursement for Hurricane Irma, though in April 2018, Shanahan expressed she wasn't optimistic about receiving that check by April 2019.
This story was updated at 5:43 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13.