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Coupeville wharf project putts along

The Port of Coupeville continues to push ahead with plans to expand moorage space and improve services at the Coupeville Wharf, despite ongoing difficulties in obtaining some necessary permits.

The Moorage Expansion Project, which has been in the works since August of 1998, will add about 100 feet to existing moorage, as well as a new marine pump-out station, more buoys, electrical hook-ups, lights and an additional fire main.

The project will cost about $60,000, said District 1 port commissioner Mike Canfield.

So far, the expansion has been held up in the permitting process. According to Port of Coupeville advisor John Coyne, permit applications have been stalled by the National Marine Fisheries Services because the agency has expressed concern over the impact construction could have on salmon habitat.

Coyne said that without these permits, other state agencies will not issue their permits.

Despite this, port officials are optimistic about that the project will soon come to fruition.

“It looks like we stand a good chance of having it done next year, we hope,” Canfield said Monday.

The moorage expansion would include two 10 by 24-foot floats anchored to three new pilings on the east side of the wharf, and an 8 by 50-foot dock secured to existing pilings on the wharf’s west side.

The port commission drew up plans for the wharf and first applied for a permit three years ago. Since then, they have secured approval from the Coupeville Town Council, as well as various building permits.

Canfield pointed out that the expansion will not alter the current status of the wharf as a place of transit moorage. “We’re not a marina,” he said.

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