Just in time for the summer, the first 900 foot section of the new James River Fishing Pier will open on Friday, May 22nd following a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:30 AM. After being identified as needing extensive repairs, it was determined that the best alternative was to completely demolish the pier and replace it with an all concrete structure. The pier is reopening after being closed since December 2013.
The pier is being constructed in two phases. The first section of Phase I of the new pier extends 900 feet into the river, is 24 feet wide at the base and transitions to 12 feet in width for the remainder of the pier. An additional section, which will complete Phase I with a total 1,252 foot pier, floating dock and gangway, is scheduled to be completed by the end of August 2015. Phase I, including demolition of the original pier, cost approximately $3 million. Phase II of the project will extend the pier a projected additional 1,400 feet. The timeline and cost of construction of Phase II have not yet been set.
Located adjacent to Huntington Park, the pier is licensed and no additional fishing license is needed to use the facility. A concession and bait stand will be open and other amenities will be added as the continued rebuilding occurs.
The first fishing pier was part of the original James River Bridge. In 1928, the original James River Bridge opened connecting Newport News and Isle of Wight County. At 4.8 miles in length, it was the world’s longest bridge when it was constructed. After almost 50 years, the original bridge was replaced in 1975 with the current one and approximately 3,000 feet of the original bridge on the Newport News side became a fishing pier.