Arts & Culture
1:17 pm
Fri May 20, 2011

Crippled Jennette's Pier Reopens Eight Years Later

Jennette's Pier reconstructed, aquarium, coast,
Jennette's Pier reconstructed
Credit NC Aquariums

  A historical fishing pier reopens Saturday in Nags Head after Hurricane Isabel destroyed it nearly eight years ago. Jennette's Pier was absorbed by the state Aquariums soon after the storm leveled it in 2003. The General Assembly approved an $25 million reconstruction in the 2009 budget. Aquariums director David Griffin says the new structure hardly resembles its old self. He says it now stands higher above sea level than most piers.

David Griffin: "We've elevated this

 thing up, we've built it incredibly strong with concrete pilings and beams, and we did maintain the wooden decking and railing to give it the historical cultural feeling of an old pier. The pier house itself - incredibly built to withstand 130 mile per hour winds, so yeah, we think it's going to be here a long time."

The facility features classrooms, marine life exhibits a 1,000-foot-long fishing pier. Opening ceremonies begin with a jump by the U.S. Army Parachute Team. Governor Bev Perdue is expected to launch the pier by breaking a ceremonial bottle of champagne.

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