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Port awards pier repair contract

Repairs work on the Harper Public Fishing Pier should be underway shortly as the Port of Bremerton Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved awarding a contract for the work to a Bremerton company.

Steve Slaton, the port’s director of marine facilities, said the “lowest responsible bid” of just over $40,000 was submitted by Triton Marine Construction this month 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 reinforcing several of the deteriorated wooden pilings with steel beams to redistribute the weight of the pier, and Slaton said the actual 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.

In its accepted bid, the Bremerton company reported an expected total project time of 28 days, but Slaton stressed meeting that time frame is contingent on 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’re 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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