Get Your Fishing Poles Ready

Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 21 Sep 13 - 1 Comment

New Pier in Seadrift

Discovering Seadrift by Jasmine Gordon

The sun was in full force and the mosquitoes on duty as I headed south on 238. I arrived in Seadrift, turned right on 9th Street and headed towards Bay Avenue. I was excited to see the new pier which recently opened. The pier stands at 300 feet plus a 12 foot wide T-Head making the length 312 feet; the T-head is 50 feet long. It was “temporarily” opened the Saturday before Labor Day.

“A gate was placed to keep people off before it was temporarily opened and currently has remained open 24 x 7. There are no plans to restrict hours once it is formally completed and accepted by the County and then the City,” Mayor Elmer Deforest commented. “It is possible that the pier may be closed for follow-up work by the contractor resulting from inspections and deficiencies found regarding loose screws and bolts which have been reported.”

The Seadrift pier and adjoining walkways is being funded under the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP), Grant Award No. F12AF01246, issued to Calhoun County by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “There was no match required with this grant – that is very rare,” said Precinct 4 County Commissioner Kenny Finster. The total amount which was awarded via the grant to the county was $434,385. The commissioner has been involved from the beginning. “I’m very passionate about this project. It has been a great collaboration between all involved; the judge, county, city council, engineers, contractors, subcontractors.”

The project has been in the works since 2008; the project was approved in 2010, however the county did not receive the grant until October 2012. At that point, Urban Engineering was hired to handle the construction documents.

Shirley & Sons Construction Company was awarded the winning bid for the construction. The company also built the Sanctuary in Port O’Connor. There were only two bids on this project; Shirley & Sons was substantially less than anticipated allowing for additional amenities such as lighting, parking, benches and sidewalks to be added. Hayes Electric installed the lighting on the pier. In addition, all is ADA compliant. Construction began shortly after Memorial Day and this year’s annual Texas Water Safari and Shrimpfest.

“I’m very pleased to see projects like this,” said Grant Consultant Kathy Smartt, “that have such a positive impact on the community.” Smartt was in charge of the state CIAP program for numerous years. She is very knowledgeable and familiar with the intricacies of the grant and has worked with multiple counties.

The City does not control nor own the pier at this time – until formally accepted by the County from the contractor and then transferred to the City. “We hope to have a ceremony at that point,” Finster said. Until then, if the Contractor wishes to close the pier they have control of it since it has not been formally accepted by the County.

“We also plan to put up educational signage, about Seadrift’s history, birds, fish and the area,” said Smartt.

The commissioner took his family out to the pier on Labor Day weekend, “There must of been at least fifty people out there, I only knew two of them,” he said laughing. “Many of the older fishermen who don’t fish on their boats anymore are heading out there in the evenings. This is definitely a feel-good project.”

The pier is stout built with stainless steel bolts; the city hopes to have possible future improvements to it. If you haven’t made it down to the bayfront – put it on your agenda. To view the progress of the pier search on Facebook: Calhoun County Pct. 4 – Seadrift Pier Project.

Till next time.

One comment for “Get Your Fishing Poles Ready”

CJ Garriott

This is a wonderful addition to the Seadrift Bayfront! Great to have it in place at long last. It is beautiful. Good fishing, everyone!

September 22nd, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Leave a Reply

Untitled Document Visit Dolphin Talk