Repairs move forward at Coupeville wharf

Repairs of winter storm damage are nearing completion at the Coupeville wharf, where public restrooms reopened Thursday for the first time since December of last year.

A November windstorm and a December freeze wreaked havoc on the century-old building in 2021, with the wind causing roof shingles, dock floats and a swim ladder to tear free from the structure, and the cold causing the building’s sewer and water lines to burst.

Port of Coupeville Executive Director Chris Michalopoulos said he estimates repairs from the storm damage have reached around 90% completion as of Thursday afternoon, and the remaining 10% will not affect the public.

During a port commissioners meeting Wednesday, Michalopoulos said the wind-blown dock floats, hinges and swim ladder have all been replaced. The water and the sewer lines along the causeway have also been replaced, though there remains some work to be done to sewer pipes underneath the building.

The port’s insurance will cover the cost of the weather damage repairs. A recently passed federal omnibus spending bill supported by U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen also contains funds for the wharf’s sewer and water work.

The emergency fixes performed on the wharf roof are only a temporary solution, Michalopoulos said, but the more extensive roof replacement that has long been on the wharf’s project list cannot be completed until after the wharf’s caps and piles are replaced.

While the latter project has also been years in the making, due largely to an extensive backlog of project permit requests at the National Marine Fisheries Service, Michalopoulos said he is hopeful cap-and-pile repairs and replacements will not have much longer to wait. He told commissioners that Larsen’s office will soon meet with the fisheries service to discuss the wharf project, among others, with the intention of moving the project forward.