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Port hires firm for pier repair plan

The Port of Bremerton signed a contract this week with a Seattle civil engineering firm to create a plan of action for repairing the Harper Public Fishing Pier, said Marine Facilities Director Steve Slaton.

Slaton said the port will pay Petrovich, Nottingham and Drage (PND), which specializes in marine structures, $9,000 to design several different options for both short-term and long-term fixes for the aging wooden pier, which has been closed since mid-December due to safety concerns.

“They should have designs for us to look at in a week or two,” Slaton said, explaining that his office requested at least one option that did not involve putting anything in the water, which adds significant time and complications to the permitting process.

Once the plans are presented, Slaton said his staff will begin the process of evaluating them, which could involve sending them back to PND for revisions.

The pier was closed to all foot traffic Dec. 15 after a routine inspection revealed rotting pilings that posed a safety hazard to users of the aging wooden dock, which is popular with both fishermen and strollers alike.

Slaton said engineers determined there was an unacceptable amount of deteriorated pilings, or support beams, under the pier, and although it was not in danger of falling “into the water tomorrow, we can’t control how many people are going out there at one time, and we are going to err on the side of caution.”

Slaton said there is no estimate yet for when the pier might reopen, but his staff will be considering looking at both an interim fix and a more permanent one.

“We may put in a less-expensive fix and get recreational use back online, then let the engineers work on a longer-term fix,” he said, explaining he anticipates the latest repair will not require as long a closure as last time, when the pier was closed from 1999 until 2002.

Once the final design is established, Slaton said PND will not be doing the construction work, but will be assisting in the permitting and bidding process.

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