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Port of South Whidbey hopeful Clinton pier can open soon

The Clinton Beach dock, owned and maintained by the Port of South Whidbey, may soon reopen. The small dock next to the Clinton Ferry Terminal has been closed for three months.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
The Clinton Beach dock, owned and maintained by the Port of South Whidbey, may soon reopen. The small dock next to the Clinton Ferry Terminal has been closed for three months.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Emergency stabilization work on the Clinton fishing pier has begun, though it’s too soon to know if the dock will be open in time for the summer boating season, according to Port of South Whidbey officials.

The dock, which is located on the north side of the Clinton Ferry Terminal, was closed about three months ago for safety reasons. The wooden structure that supports a zig-zagging 80-foot gangway ramp has become water logged, causing the floats to list and is putting stress on the joints that connect them.

At a special meeting June 5, the port hired Rex Lukinich, owner of Greenbank Metal Works, to begin removing the wooden structure, dispose of the materials and temporarily stabilize the separating floats.

A formal bidding process was opened and Lukinich was the lowest bidder with his work estimate of $8,750.

Once the work is done, the extent of the damage to the joints will be more clear and port officials will have a better idea of whether additional work is needed and if it can be done in the water.

Port Commissioner Curt Gordon said he is hopeful the floats won’t have to be removed and that the port won’t have to go through an extensive federal and state permitting process.

Gordon said he could not speculate on when the pier would be reopened because it largely depends on results of this first phase of work.

“I’d love to have it open in a couple months but I have no idea what he’ll find,” Gordon said.

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