PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, announces the start of a reconstruction and expansion project for the fishing pier at Colt State Park in Bristol. The site will give disabled anglers and others improved access to one of the state's prime fishing areas.
The fishing pier at Colt State Park was built in the 1980s. Although the structure of the existing pier will remain, all of the pier decking and railings will be removed and replaced as part of the reconstruction project. In addition, the timber float and piles that anchor the float to the eastern side of the existing T-pier will be rebuilt and relocated. The expansion project also includes construction of an ADA accessible, 66-foot T-shaped extension to the existing pier. The rails will be lowered to a height of 34 inches in four handicap-accessible stations at the end of the pier extension to allow for fishing from a wheelchair.
The fishing pier improvement project is a joint effort between DEM and The Nature Conservancy. The two agencies formed a five-year partnership to create and improve public access sites for fishing, boating, and hunting throughout Rhode Island. The project at Colt State Park is the first project to go forward as part of this partnership effort.
"I am pleased that the first of the newly formed five-year partnership between the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and The Nature Conservancy involves major improvements to the fishing pier at Colt State Park," Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. "Colt State Park is one of our state's most beloved natural assets, and a prime and popular fishing area. When finished, the new configuration will also accommodate disabled anglers allowing for even more Rhode Islanders as well as tourists to enjoy the beautiful location."
"Colt State Park is a very popular fishing area, and we are excited to begin this project that will expand shoreline and fishing access for all Rhode Islanders," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "The expanded pier will provide visitors to Colt State Park, regardless of their physical limitations, with greater access to this fantastic fishing spot on Narragansett Bay."
"Colt State Park is a Rhode Island gem. This pier improvement will further enhance the public's enjoyment of our state waters," said Terry Sullivan, Rhode Island State Director for The Nature Conservancy. "The Conservancy is proud to play a role in connecting people to nature at Colt State Park."
In addition to the revitalized fishing pier, minor upgrades are also being made to the adjacent boat ramp at Colt State Park. The decking on the boat ramp and pile caps will be replaced as part of the improvement project.
The accessible fishing pier was designed by staff from The Nature Conservancy and DEM Planning and Development staff. The contractor for the project is Cardi Corporation. Funding for the project is provided by US Fish & Wildlife Sportfish Restoration Fund $290,625, and $96,875 in RI Capital Development funds.
The new pier is expected to open in spring 2014.