New Haven pier destroyed by tropical storm gets renovation

The renovated Fort Hale pier (WFSB)

NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) –

It’s been a long time coming for New Haven’s Fort Hale fishing pier.

Seven years ago, the pier was battered and beaten from Tropical Storm Irene.

Now, they’re finally casting lines from a rebuilt pier that’s now bigger and better.

On Monday, the city, along with state leaders, cut the ribbon on the new and improved, which was made possible with $1.8 million in state bonding.

Gov. Dannel Malloy and Senate President Martin Looney even cast a few lines.

“It brings memories for families, who’ve brought generations here. Like I said before, my own family, brought my son here starting when he was 6 and my grandson when he was six. It’s a great resource, not only for the east shore, the whole city of New Haven, but for the area from around New Haven,” Looney said.

Baiting up a line, Harold Person says the peace and quiet of fishing can’t be beat.

“Just being out in nature, seeing the boats pass by, talking to other fishermen, bringing my grandson out,” he said.

Now he and other fishermen can enjoy it all from New Haven’s new fishing pier at Fort Hale park finally rebuilt after getting destroyed first in Tropical Storm Irene and then hit again during Super Storm Sandy.

“It’s a great fishing spot, they put pier so far out, that you can get right in the channel now, it’s incredible,” Person said.

The new pier juts out 360 feet into Long Island Sound, 10 feet longer than the old pier.

It also sits higher up, and there’s a 140 foot “T” on the end, with a space that can be used for classes.

Park rangers said they’re already planning family fishing days for later this summer.

Now not only is the new pier bigger and better than its predecessor, this is just the start, phase one.

Phase two, the city says it will be adding additional amenities later this summer.

“We’re going to be rebuilding the entire parking lot, we’ll be putting lighting on the pier, water also out to the pier, a lot of amenities, lighting the parking lot to make sure this gets the best use that it can,” said New Haven City Engineer Giovanni Zin.

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