CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The much-anticipated Cole Park Pier ribbon-cutting and lighting ceremony was held Friday afternoon.
Friday's reopening was the culmination of two years of planning and construction.
According to a city spokesperson, the first Cole Park Pier was built in the 1930s and was destroyed by the 1945 Texas Hurricane.
The second pier was built in 1971 and was closed in April 2018 after Hurricane Harvey caused damage to it.
Then, a year later, the walkway panels collapsed into the bay.
Mayor Paulette Guajardo says the pier has been improved greatly with the project costing $7.5 million to complete.
"Lighting has greatly improved; you have 5,000 square feet of decking that is all brand new," Guajardo said. "All of this took 6.8 million pounds of concrete."
Some protesters used the grand opening event to get the attention of city leaders.
Residents opposed to the city's plans to build a seawater desalination plant showed up with signs.
“The city council has refused to engage in honest discourse between the community residents that are concerned about desal and what's going to happen to the rest of our community, so we need to meet them where they are at if they won't actually talk to us,” one protester said.