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Public input sought for Corpus Christi pier

Current design plans for a new Cole Park Pier in Corpus Christi include an entrance, seating, shade, and wider walkways. Public input on amenities and design are being accepted until June 14. Courtesy image

Preliminary designs for a new Cole Park Pier are available for public review and input, City Manager Peter Zanoni recently announced. New features include a wider walkway, a large plaza, better lighting, seating, and shade. The public has until June 14 to submit comments about the new design, which can be done online.

The old pier, which was built in 1972, has been closed to public use since 2018. The pier was damaged by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. Portions of it collapsed into the bay last summer. It will soon be demolished and removed. The new pier should be available by next summer.

“We are committed to getting it replaced as quickly as we can,” Zanoni told the City Council in a meeting last October. “It’s an iconic feature for the city and a great amenity to a great park.”

A pier has been in that location since 1935. The first Cole Park Pier, which was a wooden structure designed for swimmers, was destroyed by a hurricane in 1945. It was not rebuilt for 30 years.

An appraisal of the pier determined it would be cheaper to completely rebuild the structure at $4.1 million than to repair the old pier, which would cost $7.1 million. Also, if repaired, the old structure would only last another 10 years. A new structure would be expected to outlast the 50-plus years of the old pier.

The first $1 million comes from a 2018 voter-approved bond. It will be used to remove the old pier. Jacobs Engineering Group of Dallas was contracted to demolish the old pier and design a new one.

The additional $3 million could come from a 2020 bond or the community enrichment fund. The city is also considering a naming rights process to help raise money for the pier.

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