ST. PETERSBURG, FL — Work has begun on the installation of the $1.5 million Bending Arc sculpture by nationally recognized fiber artist Janet Echelman at the St. Pete Pier.

In a video posted by the St. Pete Pier on Friday, St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman watched as work got underway on the complicated task of erecting the outdoor aerial net sculpture spanning 76 feet high and 428 feet wide.

The process requires workers in aerial lifts repeatedly raising, stretching and lowering the netting created from more than 84 miles of fiber that’s been braided, knotted and spliced together to form a lightweight net that will billow in the wind.

Located at the Pier Approach in the family park and gardens, Bending Arc will be Echelman’s first permanent sculpture in her native Tampa Bay. Echelman, who now lives in Boston, has installed her massive flowing net sculptures around the world including in Madrid, London, Mexico City and Washington, D.C.

The $2.8 million sculpture is being funded using $1.5 million in public funds and $1.3 million in private donations.

In the meantime, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grill announced that it is now accepting applications for employment at its St. Pete Pier restaurant opening in March.

This will be the fourth Doc Ford’s restaurant named for the fictional Florida west coast marine biologist and ex-CIA agent created by best-selling author Randy Wayne White.

White currently has Doc Ford’s restaurants on Sanibel and Captiva islands and Ft. Myers Beach.

Located on the water, Doc Ford’s at the St. Pete Pier will have 8,000 to 9,000 square of indoor dining space and 1,500 to 2,000 square feet of outdoor dining space.

In addition to featuring a raw bar, Doc Ford’s serves a variety of Florida fish dishes including panko-crusted grouper, banana leaf snapper, deep-water mahi mahi and Captiva-style crab cakes accompanied by live music from local artists.

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