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Corpus Christi to Replace Cole Park Pier

Cole Park Pier has been closed for more than a year because of unsafe conditions. Portions of the pier collapsed in April. It will be replaced next year. Courtesy photo

Cole Park Pier will be torn down and replaced, the Corpus Christi City Council decided at a recent meeting. The almost 50-year-old pier will be cheaper to remove and replace than repair, reported City Manager Peter Zanoni, who promised to start the project soon.

“We are committed to getting it replaced as quickly as we can,” he told the council. “It’s an iconic feature for the city and a great amenity to a great park.”

According to an engineering study conducted this summer, most of the pier’s structural integrity has been compromised by corrosion. Repairs, which would cost $7.1 million, would need to be readdressed after 10 years. In comparison, demolition and replacement would cost $4.1 million.

The money will come from a 2018 bond and seawall sale tax funds. The voter-approved bond will supply about $1 million with the rest to come from taxes, the community enrichment fund, and possible grants for which the city has applied.

As far as a timeline, Zanoni said the design should be ready by next summer and construction completed by February 2021.

Mayor Joe McComb called the pier an eyesore.

“The condition it’s in is not acceptable,” he said.

The 450-foot pier has been closed to the public for more than a year because of safety concerns. Part of the pier collapsed in April.

Cole Park Pier has been a popular fishing spot in the city since around 1935 when it was built as a wooden structure primarily for swimmers. That version was damaged in a hurricane in 1945. It was torn down and not replaced for another 30 years when the city expanded the park and built the seawall as well as the pier. Both were open to the public in 1972.

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