Demolition underway on old Back Bay fishing piers

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The destroyed Point Cadet Pier lies half sunken in Biloxi's back bay, toppled over like dominoes. The pilings are reminders of a life before Hurricane Katrina. Beside those, the Biloxi/ Ocean Springs Bridge stands as a sign of progress since the storm.

While many things have changed in Katrina's wake, a love of fishing remains.

William Thomas traded in Indiana snow for Biloxi's sun and waves three years ago.  He often fishes amid the old Point Cadet pier wreckage.

"The first time I came down here, seeing all the destruction from Katrina was definitely a shock," Thomas remembered.

On his latest trip to the old pier, he was joined by a demolition team. Cranes are working to remove one of the remaining eyesores from the storm.  In just a few months, the pilings will be gone, and construction will begin on a new and better pier.

"When it's all said and done, we're going to have a two lane fishing bridge that is going to have ADA accessible sidewalks on both sides. It's going to be lit for nighttime fishing and it's going to have turn arounds at the end and at the middle," said Biloxi Spokesperson Vincent Creel.

FEMA funds covered the demolition of both the old Point Cadet and Back Bay bridges, as well as the construction of the new pier.  However, the Legislature and the Department of Marine Resources had to step in with extra Tidelands money to give the old concrete a new purpose.

"The concrete from both of those bridges is being used to replenish and add to the Katrina Fishing Reef south of Deer Island," explained Creel.

The total cost of the bridge demolition, moving the concrete and construction of the new pier is about $9 million.

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