Folly Beach Pier Replacement

Construction Progress

June 2020

We are in the final stages of the federal permitting process for the Folly Beach Pier replacement. We are happy to announce the Pier will be open for the remainder of this summer. Further details, including a construction timeline, will be presented at a press conference this summer. The press conference date will be determined by when we receive our final permit, and we will announce it as soon as possible.

The Folly Beach Fishing Pier is a Lowcountry icon. Thousands of locals and visitors have fond memories of fishing, dancing or enjoying the views. As the current 1045-foot-long pier, opened in 1995, reaches the end of its useful life, Charleston County Parks is honored to announce the creation of the next Folly Beach Fishing Pier that will serve our community for generations to come.

We will continue to provide updates as we progress and look forward to creating the next Folly Beach Pier that will serve our community for generations to come.

Why is the pier being replaced?

The Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier opened in the summer of 1995, but is now reaching the end of its useful life due to deterioration in the wood pilings caused by marine boring worms. Timber pile piers typically have an average life expectancy of 20-25 years. 

In 2013, we began dive inspections of the pilings, and the most severely deteriorated piles were repaired by an encapsulation process that encased the deteriorated piles in cement. The encapsulation not only killed the wood-eating worms, it also strengthened the piles and the structural integrity of the pier. The diamond-head has had nearly one-half of the piles encapsulated to ensure integrity of the pier head for dances, and the walkway has been inspected to ensure it is safe for fishing and sightseeing. 

Although the current pier has been determined to be safe by our consultants, there are still many piles remaining that will continue to deteriorate further with worm damage.

Scope of Construction

The replacement of the Folly Beach Fishing Pier is in the early stages. We are currently in the design development phase led by our consultants, Wantman Group, Inc. (WGI). WGI was selected due to its extensive experience in ocean fishing pier design and construction. We have just filed our initial permit with Office of Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) and the Army Corps of Engineers.

We will continue to keep the community updated during each phase of the Pier replacement.

What to Expect on the New Pier

The new pier will include all of the elements our visitors love about the existing pier, including fishing stations, the perfect spot to watch the sun rise and set, and the beloved Moonlight Mixer dance series.

Folly Beach Pier History

The original Folly Pier was 120-feet wide, 97-feet long and was a green and white structure built with palmetto tree logs. Known for its sheltered dance floor the size of a basketball court, the pier attracted many famous bands and artists, including Jerry Lee Lewis, The Drifters, and The Coasters. Following a fire at the nearby Ocean Front Hotel, the pier and pavilion area reopened as the Ocean Plaza in 1960 and featured a boardwalk, amusement rides, a roller skating rink, and concessions. 

The Folly Pier and pavilion were lost to another fire in January 1977. After the remains were removed and the boardwalk was sold, a Holiday Inn hotel (now Tides Folly Beach) was built adjacent to the site in 1985.

As part of a 1992 bond, Charleston County Parks was able to purchase the 1.4 acres of beachfront property on Folly. Nearly 20 years after the previous pier burned down, we opened the Edwin S. Taylor Folly Beach Fishing Pier on July 4, 1995. Costing approximately $3.4 million to build, the current pier is 25-feet wide and 1,045 feet long.