Gulf State Park Pier renovations begin on November 13

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Bike riders cross over a boardwalk at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Ala., in this file photo from March 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) announced on Monday that Gulf State Park Pier will close at 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 12, 2023, so that work can begin to repair the damage caused to the pier by Hurricane Sally in 2020. The pier, a popular destination for fisherman and sightseers. will remain closed during the renovation process.

Chris Blankenship is the Commissioner of ADCNR.

“We are excited to announce this project to restore Gulf State Park Pier,” said Commissioner Blankenship. “The pier provides quality recreational fishing for thousands of anglers each year. Once the work is completed, anglers and other park visitors will have full access to one of the premier fishing and sightseeing destinations on the Gulf Coast.”

M.D. Thomas Construction in Orange Beach, Alabama, was awarded the contract to perform the repairs which will include rebuilding a 200-foot section of the pier that collapsed during the storm. The pier is scheduled to reopen to the public in the summer of 2024.

On September 16, 2020, Hurricane Sally hit Alabama’s Gulf Coast as a category two storm. Prior to Sally’s formation and landfall, the pier had been scheduled to reopen after the completion of a $2.4 million renovation. The newly renovated pier was devastated by the storm.

Greg Lein is the Director of ADCNR’s State Parks Division.

“The pier partially reopened to fishing and sightseeing in 2021,” said Director Lein. “Since then, visitors have had access to half of the pier. We look forward to welcoming anglers and sightseers back to the full pier next summer.”

Species of fish commonly harvested at the pier include sheepshead, red drum, Spanish mackerel, flounder, Florida pompano, king mackerel, whiting, and more. The pier also is a site where birders can see numerous coastal birds including seagulls and pelicans.

ADCNR is encouraging anglers to check out other fishing locations along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, including Gulf State Park’s Alabama Point, Romar Beach and Cotton Bayou (wheelchair accessible), and the Steve McMillan Fishing Pier and Boat Ramp at Fort Morgan during the closure.

The state had hoped to do the repairs to the pier in 2022, but when that was bid out, the winning bid was $12 million, so the state elected to not proceed with repairs in May 2022.

Alabama is a sportsmen’s dream, with year-round opportunities for saltwater fishing, freshwater fishing, and hunting. Alabama residents and nonresidents alike can purchase a license from the state. License fees are used to protect the state’s natural resources and promote sound conservation practices.

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