Sitka is moving ahead with plans to replace the transient float at Thomsen Harbor.
The Sitka Assembly on Tuesday night (10-28-14) authorized a contract to begin design work on the project. The $180,000 contract is slated to go to Juneau-based PND Engineers, a frequent bidder on local projects.
The contract covers early scoping for what’s expected to be a $6.15-million replacement effort.
Municipal engineer Dan Tadic said the 41-year-old structure is beyond repair.
“Over the past several years we’ve dumped quite a bit of money into emergency repairs [such as] anchor chains that were significantly corroded or missing altogether,” Tadic said. “They’re old concrete float models that just have exceeded their useful life and time’s up for replacement.”
The float helps protect the nearby harbor from wave action. It’s used as temporary moorage for out-of-town vessels, as well as some local boats.
The existing float is about 930 feet long and 21 feet wide. Tadic says the replacement will probably be the same length, but narrower. It will be kept in place by pilings, not the current anchor-and-chain system.
“We’re also looking at replacing the lighting and potable water and fire-suppression systems that are on the float currently,” Tadic said. “The Harbormaster is interested in looking at some more power for boats to hook up to when they’re mooring at that facility, which does not exist there currently.”
The timeline calls for construction to begin in October of 2015 and continue through March of 2016.
Boats that use the intermediate float will have to move during construction. But Tadic says other harbors can handle those vessels.
“To give you an example, ANB Harbor [had] a significantly greater number of displaced users,” Tadic said. “And over the course of the winter the rest of the harbor was able to absorb the displaced folks from ANB. And in some cases, some folks were at the transient float here.”
ANB Harbor was rebuilt last winter.
Funding comes from a state grant program, the city and a recent moorage rate increase.