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Water Street boat launch operational

"Just in case you hadn’t noticed, the $1 million renovation of the Water Street boat launch is nearly complete.Sea lovers, their boats hitched atop trailers, have already been using the boat launch and redone parking lot across from Port Orchard City Hall since late December. But RV Associates, the Port Orchard-based construction company hired by the Port of Bremerton for the project, still has some finishing touches to do. Ken Attebery, deputy executive director of the Port of Bremerton, which operates the launch and accompanying park, said the last-minute brushups are minor and are expected to be done within a week, without affecting the project’s overall timeline.Port officials predicted last September, when construction commenced, that the project could be finished after Jan. 1.At that time the port, which absorbed one-fifth of all construction costs while state-funded grants paid for the rest, also predicted the park could eventually be presented to the public in a ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This will actually be more of a soft opening,” Attebery explained. “In other words, people will notice it’s there and that it’s substantially useable.”In the meantime, workers will finish the plumbing in the park’s 160-square-foot restroom. The building has two unisex bathrooms with wheelchair access and custodian space.Also, the resurfaced, 1.5-acre parking lot, which has 20 full-trailer/vehicle parking spaces and at least 13 regular vehicle parking spaces, needs to be leveled.“There are some low areas in the lot that are puddling,” Attebery said.And, of course, park benches and picnic tables need to be installed, as well as the promised interpretive signs—explanations on the plant and sea life to be found along the park’s trail, which winds for one-third of a mile along the shoreline and connects with the Port Orchard Marina. The port plans on working with the Suquamish Tribe on what types of signs would be appropriate for the renovated site.Attebery said the port could host an official opening in March, well after the conclusion of the legislative session in Olympia. That way, area legislators could attend the function, he said."

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