The old is on its way out and the new is on its way in at Rocky Point.
ACK Marine has nearly finished demolition of the old Rocky Point Pier and work on the new pier will be starting soon. According to workers at the site Tuesday, they are waiting for lumber for the new deck to be delivered so construction can begin.
Yet as the last few physical bits of the old pier disappear, memories remain.
Kyle Dalton, a member of Carpenters Local Union 330 and
the current seven-man work crew, visited Rocky Point while it was still an amusement park. He is now tearing down the very same pier he helped bring the family boat to years ago.
When asked how he felt about the situation, he responded that he was happy, not that the old pier was going away, but that a newer, better pier was being put in place for people to enjoy. “It’s a part of history,” he says of the pier. “I’ve always liked this park.”
Reminiscing about the park, he recalled the Cork Screw, Flume and House of Horrors as favorites.
Bart Belcastro, a construction manager on the site, never visited the amusement park during its operation but enjoys the view as much as any person who comes down to the park for a jog. “You’re spoiled when you come here to work everyday,” he said. Belcastro, while on lunch break sitting in his truck looking out at the Bay, said many people had come down to the workers to ask for pieces of the pier as souvenirs. He also talked about people who came by the site to look at the old pier but also to trade stories and express how much they appreciate the park being public land.
As for the new pier itself, 130 piles will support a much larger deck than before, at 280 feet long. The project is estimated to cost $1.8 million, paid for by the Department of Environmental Management. The pier will feature varied rail heights, solar lighting, and a structure to provide shade, and benches for visitors to sit and enjoy the view of the Narragansett Bay.
“The fishing pier will provide another way for people to enjoy our beautiful park and provides another way to access Narragansett Bay,” said Mayor Solomon in May.
Workers at the site estimated that the pier would be finished by the end of the year. The project supervisor and the workers are “all working together,” according to Belcastro. According to a spokeswoman for the DEM, construction of the pier is on schedule and set to finish by the end of the year.