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Corpus Christi’s Cole Park Pier gets its bling

Cole Park Pier will be rebuilt this spring and summer with all the bling originally imagined at public hearings on the subject last year. The city found an additional $2 million to add improved lighting, covered seating, and a shaded T-head. Courtesy image

The city found the money and the new Cole Park Pier will be built with all of the bells and whistles requested by the public, the Corpus Christi City Council decided at its regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 9.

The $7.5 million pier replaces a 50-year-old structure that was damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. In 2019, the concrete structure began to collapse into the bay due to corrosion. The new pier should be completed by September after being closed for the past two years.

The council learned in December that the city needed an additional $2 million to add many of the amenities residents requested at a series of public hearings about the pier last year.

Type B sales-tax revenue funding was increased to $5 million from the $4.4 million originally committed to the project. The amount of unreserved funds pledged to the project was reduced to $1.5 million from about $2 million. The unreserved funds were used to move forward with rewarding the contract, which went to J.M. Davidson Ltd. in December 2020. The plan was to repay the money either through finding additional funding or by cutting amenities and amending the contract at a later date.

Other money was found through “prudent and professional management,” City Manager Peter Zanoni told the council Tuesday.

Now at $7.8 million, the budget to rebuild the pier can include shade structures, an observation deck with seating, a large plaza for events, more parking, new walkways to connect parking to the plaza, and an improved lighting system.

The bulk of the money comes from a 2018 bond that included repairs to both Cole Park and Dimitt fishing piers. The Philip Dimitt Municipal Fishing Pier, 101 Jester St. in Flour Bluff, reopened in early February. It, too, had been closed to the public for two years.

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