Pier should re-open by this summer

There are some promising signs that fishing may return to the Harper Public Fishing Pier before summer, as bids closed Thursday on work that won’t have to wait until mid-June to begin.

Port of Bremerton director of marine facilities Steve Slaton said Friday morning the “lowest responsible bid” of just over $40,000 was submitted by Triton Marine Construction for the temporary repairs on the popular pier, which has been closed since mid-December after an inspection revealed there were too many weakened pilings, or support beams, under the aged wooden structure.

The repairs will involve re-enforcing several of the deteriorated wooden pilings with steel beams to redistribute the weight of the pier, and Slaton said the work should only take a couple of weeks. It can also begin relatively quickly, he said, since the port was approved to perform the work during the fish window, which normally precludes working in or around the water until June 15.

If the Bremerton company is given the notice to proceed, it reported an expected total project time of 28 days. But Slaton said meeting that timeframe is contingent upon the crews receiving the necessary supplies — in particular the steel beams — in a timely fashion.

Slaton said quality and price were the main considerations in choosing which company’s bid to accept, but another factor was how long the repairs were expected to take.

“We are pushing to get it done as quickly as possible,” he said, explaining that he wanted to make sure the pier was not closed for as long a period as last time, which was more than a year. “I’m optimistic now that the pier will be open by the start of the summer recreation season.”

Used religiously by local fishermen, walkers and simply view seekers, the pier has been closed because of safety concerns since Dec. 15.

Once the temporary work is underway, Slaton said his staff will begin investigating options for more permanent repairs.

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