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Surfers raise concerns over new proposed Bob Hall Pier design

The new pier is estimated to cost nearly $30 million and could be a real tourist attraction.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A 'Save the Waves' petition is gaining traction in an effort to change the potential design of the new Bob Hall Pier. 

Currently, demolition is underway of the old structure after it was virtually destroyed by Hurricane Hanna two years ago.

Local surfers are challenging the new design of the pier because they say a single-piling design won’t produce the same quality of wave that Bob Hall Pier is known for.

The pier was once known as a hotspot for its wave action with surfers from across the Lone Star State traveling to the site.

Several surfing competitions have been hosted at the pier over the years including the Texas State Surfing Championships.

However, a design rendering of what the new pier could look like is raising a red flag among those in the surfing community. 

"We're very concerned about the possibility of losing a good surf break at Bob Hall Pier," said Cliff Schlabach, Co-chair of the Surfrider Foundation. 

The organization is behind a petition that is making rounds online to ask the County to rework the design. At issue, the new pier has proposed single column pilings instead of twin pilings like on the old pier. 

Those pilings would be spaced further apart. 

Schlabach said fewer pilings will likely mean that sandbars beside the pier would be less defined, potentially making the waves un-rideable for surfing.

   

"The more pilings you have on the pier, the better quality of the surf," Schlabach said. "There's a good possibility with those piers spaced out 66 feet apart, it would be too far apart to make a good surf break."

In three days the petition has gained over 1000 signatures.

"Not only local surfers are concerned but surfers from all over Texas and that is why our petition has caught on fire like it has," Schlabach said. 

He adds that he has met with Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales to discuss some of the concerns addressed in the petition among surfers and anglers. 

"Jacobs Engineering has not fully designed this pier, we have asked for an alternate analysis," Canales said.

She added that the firm will look into whether one piling or twin pilings will make a difference in the wave action and in the cost of the project.

"I know the preliminary design called for the most economical design, in the mind of Jacobs engineering our experts, that was one pile. So now we said given pricing right now, why don't you bring us an analysis of one vs two," Canales said. 

The new pier is estimated to cost nearly $30 million and could be a real tourist attraction. Canales said once the analysis comes in, there will be more movement toward a final decision.

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