HAMPTON, Va. — A Hampton fishing pier reopened this morning, nearly a year after it was hit by a loose barge and mostly collapsed.
The James T. Wilson Fishing Pier -- also known as the Buckroe Fishing Pier -- was severely damaged on November 17, 2019, when a loose barge slammed into it during a coastal storm. The pier collapsed minutes later.
The 709-foot pier is located near Point Comfort Road, in the same area as the previous pier which was destroyed by Hurricane Isabel in 2003, according to the City of Hampton.
The City said repairs on the pier are now complete, and it will reopen on Saturday, October 17 at 8 a.m. The pier will resume normal hours until December 31, when it will close until April 1. It will also be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Pier admission fees have not changed, but there are new protocols for COVID-19:
- Patrons are asked to wear masks while in the pier house area.
- The Pier deck has been marked in 10-foot sections, and anglers (and all their equipment) must remain within these designated areas. This will be monitored by “pier ambassadors.”
- Total, social-distancing capacity for the pier is 160 anglers at one time, with 72 on each side of the pier, and 16 on the end of the pier.
- Should the pier reach these capacities, ticket sales will be suspended for sightseers and non-fishing visitors.
- Water fountains will not be available.
- The admissions window has been outfitted with a sneeze guard barrier, and staff will be wearing masks and gloves. Staff is also following an enhanced schedule for frequent hand-washing.
- Restrooms are sanitized every 4 hours.
- Parking will be limited to the pier parking lot after 10:00 p.m. Overflow parking in the nearby grass lot owned by the Housing Authority will not be available.