$147K study targets upgrades for Pleasure Island boat ramp & fishing pier

Published 12:32 am Thursday, June 10, 2021

Anthony Solis, of Beaumont, is a frequent fisher at Pleasure Island Pier.

On Wednesday he was there with his three grandsons who are visiting for the summer from Amarillo.

The young boys scattered around the pier, excitedly checking poles for bites.

“It’s nice,” Solis said of the pier. “It’s somewhere to get away from the sun.”

A Texas Parks and Wildlife grant will allow the city of Port Arthur to evaluate repairs to Pleasure Island Pier, pictured, and Miracle Beach Boat Launch. (Monique Batson/The News)

And the spot could soon be much more accommodating for visitors, as the City of Port Arthur has received a $110,362 planning grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife to ultimately fund restoration of the pier and boat launch.

The grant comes with a city match of $36,788 for a total of $147,150.

“The boat launch and fishing pier at Pleasure Island has sustained severe damages over the years,” said Chandra Alpough, interim director of Pleasure Island, in a written request to the city council.

“It is necessary to repave the 30-year-old Texas Parks and Wildlife boat launch and parking lot to include proper drainage in order to enhance the adjoining public fishing area on Lake Sabine.”

The 275-feet-long Pleasure Island Pier and Miracle Beach Boat Launch are located at the end of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

The TPW money will fund design, engineering and pre-construction expenses related to state/federal environmental and cultural/historical requirements associated with the boat ramp and fishing pier, according to a city resolution.

Alpough said the grant is to first determine if the necessary work can be done.

The city applied for the grant in 2019, but storms and COVID-19 delayed the process. And each storm that has come though in the last three years, including recent heavy rains, damaged the pier and boat ramp area to some extent.

TPW has given the city approximately 18 months to perform the planning stage before awarding the construction part of the grant.

Alpough said, if approved, the construction should be complete within two years.

“And that’s taking into account everything we hopefully will not go through,” she said in regards to the new hurricane season and those between now and then.

This is the second TPW grant aimed at improving Pleasure Island that has been awarded this year. In March, county commissioners approved one that would remove and replace the Mesquite Point Public Boat Ramp.

The funds stem from a TPW grant aimed at Hurricane Harvey recovery.

Construction on that project is expected to be done by the end of this year.