After weeks of emergency stabilization work, the Clinton fishing pier has been reopened for public use.
The Port of South Whidbey Board of Commissioners met for their regular meeting Tuesday and gave the green light to reopen the pier, which is located on the side of the Clinton ferry dock.
Work on the small facility began last month. A wooden walkway compliant with the American with Disabilities Act that led down to one of the two 25-foot floats had become so waterlogged and rotten that it was damaging the joint connecting the floats.
At the time work began, it was unknown whether the floats themselves would need to be taken out of the water for repairs. That would have necessitated a lengthy permit process and considerably extended the facility’s closure.
However, that turned out not to be needed. According to Ed Field, operations manager for the port, more than three tons of wood was hauled away by the contractor, Rex Lukinich of Greenbank Metal Works.
The floats are now accessed from the ferry dock solely via an 80-foot aluminum gangway.
Lukinich was also able to fabricate a new steel hoop to secures the floats together and anchor it to a piling. The gap between the two floats, a large portion of which had previously been covered by the old wooden structure, is now covered by a heavy rubber mat.
“It’s basically a big piece of conveyor belt,” Field said.
He emphasized that the new steel hoop structure is exposed, and traversing the bouncy dock can be “exciting” during storms and when large waves are present. The public should use appropriate caution when using the dock, he said.
According to Field, the port hasn’t been billed yet for the job so he couldn’t provide a total project cost. However, the contracted work did go through a formal bidding process and Lukinich was the lowest bidder with his work estimate of $8,750.