The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced the Gulf State Park Pier will close to visitors May 11 as the park begins a $2.4 million renovation project that will “modernize one of the Gulf Coast’s top attractions.”
In a news release, ADCNR said the renovations will include replacing the wooden decking and handrails of the 10-year-old landmark, creating a new observation deck and installing turtle-friendly lighting. At the octagon located on the south end of the pier, a new 50-by-18-foot elevated observation deck will be constructed above the existing pier deck, which will give visitors approximately 850 additional square feet of viewing-space.
The new decking, built with sustainably sourced Ipe (pronounced ee-pay) boards, is designed to hold up for decades against the exposure to saltwater, wind and rain. The new observation desk will be equipped with an elevator, making it handicap accessible.
The project will also include refurbishing the offices, restrooms, concession area and bait shop on the pier. The work is expected to be completed by mid-July.
“Visiting the Gulf State Park Pier is almost a rite of passage for people who come to Gulf Shores,” said ADCNR Commissioner Chris Blankenship. “Because it is such an important part of our park, we are absolutely dedicated to maintaining the pier and ensuring it is safe and accessible to our many thousands of guests. We also want to make it is as environmentally friendly as possible for sea turtles and other wildlife.”
The project was approved and funded by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Program, Alabama Trustee Implementation Group. The Gulf State Park Pier is one of the longest on the Gulf Coast. It is 20 feet wide and provides 2,448 feet of fishing space.
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