“I am so glad that we were finally able to give Pleasure Beach back to the kids and families of Bridgeport. They deserve it. It was a major undertaking and the pier was one of the final steps in reclaiming the beautiful beaches.” – Mayor Bill Finch
Bridgeport, Conn. (July 22, 2014) – The restoration of the historic pier at Pleasure Beach was recognized by the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers as an outstanding achievement in Civil Engineering.
Roberge Associates Coastal Engineers received the 2015 Award of Merit for structural design.
“I am so glad that we were finally able to give Pleasure Beach back to the kids and families of Bridgeport. They deserve it,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “It was a major undertaking and the pier was one of the final steps in reclaiming the beautiful beaches.”
Roberge Associates Coastal Engineers led the engineering effort to bring the barrier island back to life by redesigning the pier and adding a water taxi launch.
The team included the City of Bridgeport and the marine contractor, Terry Contracting and Materials, Inc.
During the construction phase, the project was administered by the state Department of Transportation and the City of Bridgeport’s engineering department. As resident engineers, RACE also oversaw the construction.
The island was reopened to the public on June 28, 2014, and more than 30,000 people have visited and enjoyed the sun, beaches and fishing.
Under Mayor Finch’s administration, the city has renovated and created over 100 acres of parkland.
In recent years, the City made created new or improved 16 different parks across the city, including new basketball courts, splash pads, playscapes, and baseball and soccer fields, giving our kids and grandkids safe places to play, Mayor Finch said.
Folks can get to Pleasure Beach – a 71-acre barrier island off the Long Island Sound that is owned by the City of Bridgeport – via a free water taxi from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. New attractions at the barrier island this year include a historical walking tour and expanded concessions.
Pleasure Beach had been inaccessible for 20 years following a fire that destroyed the wooden Bridgeport that connected the peninsula to Bridgeport’s East End.
“Our Parks Department and Public Facilities worked countless hours to reclaim Pleasure Beach for our residents after decades of neglect,” said Mayor Finch. “But every time I’m out there and I see kids and families playing in the sand and swimming in the Sound, I same thought comes into my mind. It was worth it.”
Bridgeport took ownership of Pleasure Beach in 1892. It served as home to a nationally acclaimed amusement park and ballroom for the first half of the 20th century. But fires and declining visitor numbers put the amusement park out of business in 1966.
The barrier island continued to go from periods of revival and decay until Father’s Day of 1996 when the bridge to Pleasure Beach set ablaze. The bridge was deemed unusable after the fire, and Pleasure Beach remained inaccessible from that point on.
Mayor Finch restored access to the barrier island after nearly two decades of neglect on June 28, 2014.
For more information on Pleasure Beach, visit:
For more information, please visit www.bridgeportct.gov/pleasurebeach or contact Brett Broesder at (203) 257-1049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.