CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It's just a walkway out into Corpus Christi Bay, but lots of people have fond memories of the Cole Park Pier.
“When I was growing up as a kid coming out here and walking all the way to the end of the pier, watching the fisherman catch fish and seeing the jellyfish floating in the bay,” Suzelle Tinnell said.
The city closed off access to the pier two years ago, and a short time later, a section of it near the shore collapsed.
But the pier is about to get new life.
The city council approved a $7.5 million rebuilding effort on Tuesday, and council members are expected to give final approval at their February 9 meeting.
City leaders believe it's an important project for the community.
"This current pier has just reached the end of its economic life," Director of Engineering Services Jeff Edmonds said. "I think (the decision to rebuild is) just based on that attachment that folks have to it.”
Many locals agree with him.
“(I am) able to bring the kids out here -- just spend some time with them," Mike Silguero said. "Get them out of the house away from technology.”
“I think a long-term investment in the city is always good for tourists and the people that have been here a long time,” Austin Fogle said.
One such tourist was disappointed to see the pier closed.
“(I) wanted to come and show my family the pier and how beautiful it is out here," San Benito resident Claudio Zavala said. "And right now, when I came and actually saw it, I couldn’t understand why.”
Demolition of the old pier is scheduled to start this month, and the contractor believes the new pier could be open in September.
It's good news for Tinnell who's ready to use the pier again.
“I was hoping they’d be able to repair it pretty quickly, but that didn’t happen," she said. " So, I’m excited seeing that they do have plans to rebuild it -- make it even better than it was.”
The new Cole Park Pier will have, among other amenities, shade features. Click here for a look at renderings and more information on the city's website.