Saprito Pier reopens with new look and amenities

Rehabilitation of popular City of Sarasota destination began in November 2020

The Tony Saprito Fishing Pier has a new look, thanks to a rehabilitation project that began last fall. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

The Tony Saprito Fishing Pier is reopening to the public Friday, April 30, the City of Sarasota has announced.

A brief ceremony was planned for 9 a.m., a city news release said. All members of the public were welcome to attend the event, which was to feature city leaders and the project team “highlighting the improvements and new amenities,” the news release added.

Located adjacent to the John Ringling Causeway Bridge, the pier “underwent a comprehensive rehabilitation,” which included the installation of a new concrete top deck and concrete pilings, plus the retrofitting of caps and light poles, the release said. “Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant railings also were installed,” it noted, “plus six benches and three shade structures to provide relief from the intense Florida sun.”

New pressure-treated composite planks have been incorporated into the deck at the foot of the pier, “where the surf from Sarasota Bay is strongest,” the release continued. “To protect the structural integrity of the pier, the planks are designed to pop out during strong wave action and remain attached to the pier,” the release noted.

“The makeover pays tribute to Sarasota Bay through creative sea life art designs placed along the railings,” the release said, along with a visual reminder — “Protect The Bay” — imprinted at the end of the pier.

This is an aerial view of the rehabilitated pier with its new amenities. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

Additionally, the city “partnered with Sarasota County to install a new Automated Rainfall Management System (ARMS) able to measure wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, temperature, and precipitation,” the release pointed out.

Construction started in November 2020 and concluded in April, the release said. The rehabilitation project was funded through the voter-approved penny surtax, the release added; it is expected to extend the pier’s longevity.

Opened in 1979, Saprito Pier “remains a popular destination for fishing, walking and enjoying a beautiful sunset on the bay,” the release noted.