The Town of Nantucket Pier and floating dock have suffered severe damage after the 5 winter nor'easter of 2018.
The project to replace the floating docks will commence on November 1, 2018 with a project budget of $547,215. It is estimated by GZA GeoTechnical Engineering, the Town's Marine Engineer, that the project to replace all of the floats will exceed $1.3 million. With this bid and construction cycle, the dredging and replacement of the main floats will be completed. Additional seaward floats will be replaced as the budget allows. The primary goal is to complete all of the dredging work within the time of year restriction mandated by the permit.
Bids for replacement of the dock were issued on June 13, 2018, with a pla ned bid opening of June 28. The project start date will be after Labor Day. There are 36 boat slips that are the subject of this project.
Floating Dock Replacement Project Timeline
In 2012, the former Marine Superintendent proposed a replacement plan for the floating dock section of the Town Pier. The 2013 Annual Town Meeting approved a $200,000 Article 10 item for “Repairs and Renovations to the Town Pier.”
In May of 2013, due to the reorganization of the Marine Department, the Police Department undertook the procurement for the replacement of the floating dock. After consulting with the new Harbormaster, and using specifications that were originally used to develop the budget, bids were issued for the new floating dock. Bellingham Marine was the low bidder and provided the Town with a submittal of the docks that were going to be installed. The low bid for the project was $379,261, an amount that greatly exceeded the original appropriation. The plan at that time was to use the ATM appropriation and then use the Waterways fund to make up the balance.
Throughout the rest of 2013, discussions on the funding options and an in depth review of what exactly had been proposed to replace the floating docks was done. The review of the proposed docks revealed that the design was woefully inadequate for the existing environmental conditions in Nantucket Harbor. The design made no allowances for ice buildup in the winter and no accounting for waves that exceeded one foot. The Town was now in a position where they had entered into a Contract to procure a dock system that would not adequately withstand the harsh environment. The Town requested that our marine engineer, (GZA GeoTechnical Engineering) review the proposed docks, and recommend some solutions.
In January of 2014, GZA submitted recommendations to Bellingham Marine for improvements to the dock system. GZA also had reservations regarding the design and load calculations used in the proposed design of the floats. Bellingham responded that such changes would increase the cost by almost $70,000.
In April of 2014, concerns continued regarding the design and viability of the floating docks proposed by Bellingham. After discussions with GZA and Town Counsel, George Pucci, it was determined that the Town should terminate the Contract with Bellingham Marine.
In June 2014, after some negotiations the Town and Bellingham Marine agreed to a Contract termination “for Convenience.”
With the original dock replacement Contract terminated, the Town went on to further investigate the project. GZA reviewed the design and recommend a suitable replacement. At the outset, we knew that there would be insufficient funds to proceed with this project. Using the original bid response and the change order proposed by Bellingham Marine, we approached the 2015ATM budget process with an additional $350,000 request. This would bring the total floating dock replacement project budget to $550,000.
The GZA review of the project revealed some serious flaws. First, the design of the floating docks revealed that there was insufficient water depth at the Town Pier to install the floats. Second, permits from the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), State DEP (Chapter 91) and the local ConCom had not been obtained.
GZA commenced the permit application process in late 2014 and an appropriation for $350,000 was requested for the 2015 ATM. The $350,000 was approved at the ATM, Article 10.
The winter storm of 2015 severely damaged the Town Pier. The standing timber pier and the floating docks required extensive repairs. ATM 2015, Article 111 appropriated 1,147,868.41 for Town Pier repairs. The majority of this work was completed under contract to Coastal Marine, Inc. A small balance of $52,131.59 remains in this account and we are using this towards the float replacement project and any additional Town Pier repairs.
Throughout 2015, 2016 and 2017, GZA went through the permitting process with the various agencies. The permits came through in August of 2017. A permit requirement is that the window for work is November through January due to the State endangered Winter Flounder. Due to the time of year restriction, it was impossible to bid the floating dock replacement project for work starting November 2017.