Gulf State Park Pier Set for Long Awaited Repairs: The Gulf State Park Pier, a cherished attraction, is finally slated for repairs after the devastation caused by Hurricane Sally. The pier, a crown jewel of Alabama State Parks, underwent major renovations in 2020 but suffered significant damage just before its scheduled reopening due to Hurricane Sally. The upcoming repairs, estimated to cost $13.6 million, are expected to address the aftermath of the hurricane and enhance the overall structure.
Southwest District Superintendent for Alabama State Parks, Matt Young, explained that the repairs have been a lengthy process, involving FEMA processes, bidding challenges, and various permits due to the pier being a public facility. The project’s initial bids exceeded expectations, prompting a reset in the FEMA process.
Despite the delays, Young expressed optimism about completing the repairs in time for the Fourth of July holiday in 2024. The timing of the repairs, scheduled during the off-season and post-hurricane season, aims to minimize disruptions to visitors.
The repairs will focus on the submerged aspects of the pier, with the removal and recycling of existing downed pilings, followed by the installation of new casted pilings and re-decking. Park officials believe the visible structure of the pier is structurally sound and does not require replacement.
For regular visitors like Steve Bremer, who looks forward to the extended pier, the wait of approximately nine months is worth the anticipated improvements. The Gulf State Park Pier remains a popular destination for fishing and sightseeing, drawing visitors from near and far.
As the repairs commence on November 13, 2023, the pier will be closed to the public. Visitors have until 6:00 p.m. on November 12, 2023, to enjoy the pier before the temporary closure. The Gulf State Park Pier is expected to emerge stronger and more resilient, welcoming back visitors for an enhanced experience.