Nearly finished, South Whidbey Harbor soft opening planned

Work on the South Whidbey Harbor expansion project is largely complete and officials are preparing for a soft opening later this month.

The lights are on and workers are preparing for the first round of boats in the expanded area of South Whidbey Harbor, scheduled to open later this month.

Construction at South Whidbey Harbor has reached substantial completion, which means major work by contractor Mike Carlson Enterprises has concluded and the dock is functional.

Port of South Whidbey Project Manager Ed Field is working with contractors toward approval of occupancy with the City of Langley in preparation for a soft opening planned for late March.

After the soft opening, workers will complete tasks best suited for warm and dry weather, such as sealing the deck and painting.

“We’ll be operating as quietly as we can at full capacity,” Field said.

One of the last major hurdles for the project was the approval of signs at the marina, which was recently given by the city.

The signs feature informational and directional guidance on both land and water leading to the marina. The design was done by Jay Davenny of Clinton.

The expansion project, which began in May 2013, adds 400 feet of dock space to South Whidbey Harbor.

The $1.7 million project by the Port of South Whidbey adds space for larger boats to use the facility, including room for groups and yacht clubs.

The project has run into a series of hurdles, from sunken barges and the loss of a crane to unexpected costs and discoveries.

A grand opening is planned for April 25 with attendance from Congressman Rick Larsen, a Second District democrat.

“We’re focused on getting the place finished up and opened up,” Field said.