Landmark pier in Orange Beach open again to public
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WALA) - After more than two years, an Orange Beach landmark has been rebuilt and once again open to the public. The pier at Orange Beach Waterfront Park was destroyed by Hurricane Sally, but thanks to FEMA funding and a little extra from the city, it’s been rebuilt better than ever.
Hurricane Sally left little untouched in Orange Beach. The pier which was built back after Hurricane Ivan was wrecked again. Supply chain issues and a fire at a materials warehouse delayed the rebuild. More than 27 months and $700,000 later, a brand-new pier stands in its place.
“We were actually eating just down the street at Doc’s Seafood and were asking about a place we could take our dog to walk around, and they said hey, go right down there, look on the left and you’ll see it so here we are,” said Russell Hodgins.
“We had no idea that the new pier was down here and everything. We knew that we could get in the park up there and walk him but gosh. We drove down and circled first and then parked and said, let’s go and I see children down here at the sand and this is incredible,” Hodgins’s wife, Jeanne added.
Because the rebuild qualified for FEMA reimbursement, the footprint of the pier remains the same but there are some differences. The foot of the pier is now more open with an oversized beach chair for folks to pose for pictures. There is LED lighting along the walkway and over the benches. Some extra details anglers will appreciate include shallow water reefs and recessed pier lighting to attract and hold fish. Another benefit came from the construction itself.
“By the nature of reconstruction with the work barges, they created a western side…dropped the sand a few feet so that created a bit of a channel there just by those coming in and out, propellors, etcetera so it’s a little bit different,” said Ken Grimes with the city of Orange Beach. “Hopefully, the fishermen can tell us if they’re catching more fish and maybe it was a good investment.”
Also, at the park is a new, all-inclusive playground that anyone in the family can access and enjoy. That was an investment by the city of half a million dollars. Now that the pier is also open, Waterfront Park is an amenity the whole city can be proud of.
“I think it’s gorgeous,” said Lynnemarie Prock. “Actually, I thought at first it was a place to have weddings or something… I didn’t know we could actually go out on it.”
The city’s investment into the fishing amenities with the lights and reefs is about $10,000.
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