Plans to Rebuild City Docks in Bayou La Batre, Alabama

The seafood capital of Alabama is making headway on a design to makeover its city docks. The design team is set to finalize the complete bid package this summer, after which bidding and contracting will commence. The city is hopeful that construction will begin in late 2023 or early 2024.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the docks at La Batre, along with a 90,000-square-foot warehouse that supported the local seafood and boat-building industry. The impact caused many businesses to shut down or relocate, according to the city’s project master plan. Then in 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill further exacerbated the economic downturn. The $30 million improvement project is funded by a federal grant through the 2012 “RESTORE Act”, which the city formally accepted in late March.

Located 45 minutes southwest of Mobile, the improved La Batre city docks will provide enhanced waterfront access for several water bound industries. According to the city’s master plan, “the initial targeted economic opportunities will be direct seafood sales, charter fishing operations, private anglers, and ecotourism.” The master plan includes a 50-slip marina, a service and fuel dock, boat launch, transient dock space, and a multi-use building with marina office, bait shop, and public restrooms. Other upland improvements include a multi-use retail pavilion, improved parking, storm-water infrastructure, and a green space, among other features.

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