PORT LAVACA – Fishermen likely have mistaken them for Santa’s elves.
This month, employees of Derrick Construction started rebuilding a popular fishing pier.
The 250-foot long pier at Bayfront Peninsula Park was built by Alcoa in 2006, but destroyed by Harvey, which developed from a tropical storm to a Category 4 hurricane in 28 hours.
Specifically, Harvey boasted 77 mph winds and a 7-foot storm surge in Port Lavaca, and by Aug. 30, 2017, it had dumped between 12 and 15 inches of rain there, according to the National Weather Service.
City Engineer Jody Weaver said residents’ questions about when the pier would be rebuilt have subsided since then.
“I think they eventually figured we were never going to do it, but it just takes time,” she said.
Weaver said Derrick Construction is installing stainless steel fasteners, brackets and screws to replace the galvanized ones which should make the pier stronger to withstand the next hurricane.
Records show that the City Council unanimously awarded Derrick Construction the contract during a meeting Aug. 13. They received seven bids and Derrick Construction’s was the lowest. The Rockport-based company also said it would take 120 days to complete the project.
Weaver said 90 percent of $361,500 project could be reimbursed by FEMA. She expects it to be completed by January.
She and City Manager Bill DiLibero said they hope residents enjoy it because the pier at Lighthouse Beach Park will likely take longer to rebuild. Because it has to be completely rebuilt, it will cost between $2 million and $3 million and that is not currently in the budget.