New St. Petersburg Pier to add covered solar parking

- St. Petersburg is making some major progress on the construction of its new pier. Kristin Brett, who overseas communications for the new pier, says crews are on schedule to have the 26-acre project complete by summer of 2019.

“It’s plugging along. We had a little setback with Irma, but not much,” Brett said.

Brett says three-quarters of the pilings are in place.  The concrete structures will hold the new deck for the pier.

In a new feature, the city says they the Pelican Parking lot, which holds 309 spaces, will be covered with a solar panel awning.  The panels will provide enough energy to power 60 homes.  Duke Energy will pick up the $2-million price tag and will also run an education center on clean energy.

“The pier is about sustainability so it is keeping within the core values of not only the city, but this particular project,” Brett said.

The city is still studying artist Janet Echelman’s sculptures to see if they would be feasible for the pier district.  City engineers are trying to figure out if the almost $3-million hanging rope structures would fit on the pier without endangering wildlife.

Brett says everything is on time and budget.  Construction is expected to begin on the pier’s land approach at the end of April.

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