City looking at next step in revamping Pleasure Island Pier

Published 12:53 am Saturday, November 27, 2021

City Council next week will consider moving into the next phase of restoring the Pleasure Island Pier and Miracle Beach Boat Launch after receiving word in June of a grant to help with the process.

On the consent agenda for Monday’s 5:30 p.m. Port Arthur meeting is a contract to approve Fittz & Shipman, Inc. to repave the pier and boat launch.

In an interoffice memo, Pleasure Island Director George Davis requests hiring the Beaumont-based engineering firm to make the repairs at a cost of $145,750. A majority of that — $109,312.50 — will be supplied from Texas Parks and Wildlife. The remaining $36,437.50 is part of a 25 percent grant requirement to be paid for by the city.

“The boat launch and fishing pier at Pleasure Island has sustained severe damages over the years,” Davis wrote in his memo. “This contract will allow Fittz & Shipman, Inc. of Beaumont, Texas to provide professional engineering design services for repaving of the boat launch and fishing pier.”

Chandra Alpough, director of parks and recreation, told Port Arthur Newsmedia in June that the grant was the first step in determining if updating the 30-year-old, 275-feet-long pier and boat launch at the end of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive was feasible.

The city applied for the grant in 2019, she said, but subsequent storms as well as issues surrounding the pandemic delayed the process.

The storms since 2019 have added extra damage to the longstanding recreational area.

The city was granted 18 months to perform the planning stages before awarding the part of the grant that will go to construction.

Alpough estimated construction to last approximately two years.

The contract drafted by the city divides the engineer’s project into six areas: the preliminary stage, design plans submittal, pre-final plans submittal, final plans bid package submittal, bid phase and construction phase.

The preliminary phase will include performing topographic surveys of the area, drafting for ground survey, exploring subsurface soil conditions, laboratory testing of the soil and permit discussion with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, among other things.

The design schedule is broken into calendar days: 30 allotted to the preliminary phase, 60 for the design plans submittal, 30 for the pre-final plans submittal, and 30 for the final plans bid package submittal.