SWANSBORO | The gazebo and fishing pier will soon be back with other improvements to Bicentennial Park in Swansboro thanks to more than $211,000 in grants.
A project to enhance fishing opportunities and improve pedestrian access began Saturday and is expected to be completed this summer.
“Mid-June is our estimated completion time,” said Swansboro Parks and Recreation Director Brittany Shipp.
The park’s fishing pier and gazebo were demolished in 2016 after an inspection of the aging facility showed unsafe conditions, including significant corrosion at a majority of the fasteners on the dock and gazebo as well as weathered boards on the deck and rotting joists along the dock.
The project underway will include a new gazebo and a T fishing pier.
Shipp said the pier will be wider and designed for full accessibility, with features such as an railing with alternating heights so that people in a wheelchair or small children can easily fish from it.
There will also be seating at the T-head of the pier - so pedestrians can enjoy the view without interfering with fishing - and a fish-cleaning station.
The gazebo will have room for chairs and tabletops and there will be additional park improvements, including a trellis along the boardwalk with bench swings, improvements to the picnic area and new landscaping.
“It will be well worth the wait,” Shipp said. “We’re excited about the type of pier and the additional enhancements.”
The town received two grants that cover the full cost of the project: a $112,973 CAMA Public Water Access grant and $98,494 from the Coastal Recreational Fishing License program.
Shipp said that due to the way the grant funds were allocated, they were able to match funds with each other and no local funds were required.
Reporter Jannette Pippin can be reached at 910-382-2557 or Jannette.Pippin@JDNews.com