Nueces County officialsdiscussed the results of its Bob Hall Pier design feedback study Wednesday during the regularly scheduled commissioner's court meeting.
The county held public-input sessions and hosted an online survey in order to see what those who live in the area and frequent the pier see as priorities, for when the pier is rebuilt.
Nueces County Pct. 4 Commissioner Brent Chesney said he expects the price tag to come in at around $24 million, $18 of which the county already has.
The city of Corpus Christi, however, just reopened one of its piers which had also suffered significant structural damage — Cole Park Pier — for a total of $9.3 million, according to the city's senior public information officer for engineering services Melanie Lowry.
Some ask why there's such a drastic cost difference? Well, let's put it in perspective.
The new design plans call for amenities which the pier previously had — among them, a restaurant and cleaning stations — and the current renderings call for it to again stretch 1,240 ft. into the Gulf of Mexico, as it did before Hurricane Hanna destroyed the span's T-shaped pierhead, in 2021.
Bob Hall Pier originally was built as a 300 ft. wood pier in 1950 at a cost of $17,000. A new T-head was added in 1952, and a final, third T-head was added in 1962. A series of hurricanes forced the pier to be rebuilt multiple times, but it was only after Hurricane Allen hit in the 1980s that it was rebuilt in concrete.
The design currently being presented to the public calls for the pierhead to be expanded, as well as the width of the bridge.
The design also calls for the restaurant space to be built at an angle in order to have more gulf views, a public event space at the entrance of the pier, as well as a covered event space above the restaurant, shade structures and seating, and two public restrooms.
Cole Park Pier did receive some upgrades such as cleaning stations and shade structures and seating, similar to the ones planned for Bob Hall Pier, but one major difference is the length. Cole Park Pier is a significantly shorter structure. It only spans 500 feet — Bob Hall Pier is more than twice as long.
It was widened, as is the plan for Bob Hall Pier, to create shade structures; Cole Park Pier also only has one T-head, whereas Bob Hall Pier has three.
The brunt of the cost differential is going to come from the structures the re-designed Bob Hall Pier is designed to house: the restaurant, the event space and the concessions and public restrooms. Cole Park doesn't have these amenities, making it cheaper to rebuild.