PORT TOWNSEND — Emergency repairs of the Port Townsend Boat Haven breakwater in Port Townsend are scheduled to begin Monday.
Minimal disturbance to the marina’s day-to-day activities is expected.
The project, which was awarded to American Construction Company of Tacoma, is expected to take about a week. It is expected to cost the Port of Port Townsend $206,016, which was budgeted as a capital project for 2017.
The section in need of repair was built in the 1950s.
It is located on the northernmost point of the marina, near the entrance to the Boat Haven marina, according to Sam Gibboney, Port of Port Townsend executive director, in a news release.
The wall, which provides protection for the industrial part of the marina, has deteriorated along the outer wall.
Holes on the outside of the wall pose a structural risk and the port commissioners, after hearing an assessment from the Mott MacDonald coastal engineering firm, decided that the wall would be a priority capital project for 2017.
According to Gibboney, any delay was deemed dangerous since there was risk for a potential breech of the breakwater under normal conditions.
The construction isn’t expected to interfere with the marina’s day-to-day activities as the American Construction barge will be moored just outside of the Boat Haven entry for the duration of the project.
Crews will work during daylight hours, with the exception of inspections that will be performed at night to coincide with low tides.
The project has also been permitted and will be carried out in stages to avoid negatively impacting nearby eel grass beds.
According to Gibboney, the repair should last for a few years but the entire structure will eventually need to be replaced.
“The structure is at the end of its serviceable life,” Gibboney said. “We will need to make longer term plans for its eventual replacement.”
The replacement of the breakwater would take another three years and cost the port up to $6 million according to information released in 2016.
The new breakwater would be more durable but would also disturb the marine life that has taken up residence in the old wall – including dens of octopus.
The replacement has been planned in two phases. The first phase would be replacement of the newly repaired north side, beginning in September, followed by south side replacement, beginning in February 2018.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].