ADA-Compliant Fishing Pier Opens Lake Access To All Visitors

Our innovative design has made the new Lake Nasworthy fishing pier in San Angelo accessible for wheelchair users — and sustainable materials will help it last longer and cut down on maintenance costs. The new pier is scheduled to open soon to the public.

Freese and Nichols has been helping the City of San Angelo with several important initiatives at Lake Nasworthy:

Handling structural design and layout of the fishing pier
Evaluating options for removing excess vegetation growing in the lake
Designing replacement boat ramps

The City hired Freese and Nichols in 2015 to inspect the existing wooden pier. It had served the lake for many years and had reached the end of its useful life.

Freese and Nichols oversaw the layout and structural design of the pier in collaboration with the City and the Lake Nasworthy Homeowners Association.

The new 220-foot fishing pier is wider than the older version and includes the following features: ADA-compliant anti-slip decking, ADA accessibility, benches, railing, receptacles for electrical, lighting, two T-shaped “bump outs” along the walkway for fishing, and a covered roof at the end of the dock that overlooks the Twin Buttes.

Project Manager Heather Keister said the goal was to design a recreational feature that could serve the community for many years.

“The old wooden pier had been needing replacement for several years,” Heather said. “It had served the lake well for many years, and there was a desire from the community to provide fishing access to serve the lake into the future. With wheelchair access and ADA-compliant decking, the new pier is now accessible to everyone. It was also important to seek out materials that were both durable and safe for visitors. We wanted to make sure that we used sustainable products that would require minimal maintenance and be cost-effective.”

Freese and Nichols selected Wagners Composite Fiber Technologies (CFT) due to their products’ long-term durability in extreme climate conditions. The structural composite sections are manufactured using a unique pull-winding process and can be used as a replacement for steel, aluminum and wood in infrastructure projects or engineering applications. The material has significant advantages over traditional building materials because it’s resistant to corrosion, lightweight yet strong, and easy to install and maintain. The fishing pier has a 100-year design life and will require only one re-coating of paint for sun-exposed areas in its first 40 years.

Freese and Nichols also prepared recommendations for removing vegetation in the middle of the lake at the request of residents. Overgrown vegetation can get in the way of recreation and pose safety concerns.

The team also helped the City secure a Boating Access Grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for reconstruction of boat ramps and the surrounding amenities. We are currently designing three new boat ramps and working to secure funding for two more, along with multiple non-motorized kayak launch points.

“It’s exciting to see the Lake Nasworthy improvements come to fruition,” Heather said. “The new and improved fishing pier and accompanying boat ramps will enhance the recreational experience for the community and visitors alike.”