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Oak Harbor marina is open during phase-one project

From the left,  Eric Selberg of AMO Construction and Jim Norberg and Mike Kelley of Vance Marina Construction load a water pipe onto a boat. The men later installed the pipe on the underside of the wooden marina pier. - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
From the left, Eric Selberg of AMO Construction and Jim Norberg and Mike Kelley of Vance Marina Construction load a water pipe onto a boat. The men later installed the pipe on the underside of the wooden marina pier.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

Utility pipelines, a longer gangway, sections of floating walkway and pilings are all getting the upgrade in this first phase of the Oak Harbor Marina redevelopment.

Until now, most of the project was assembled off-site, said Harbormaster Mack Funk of the phase one contract approved by the Oak Harbor City Council last summer.

Now, all the components are coming together and getting put into place.

The marina’s cash reserves fund covered the $715,900 first-phase project.

Improvements include replacement of the main gangway and upgrades to the existing electrical services, which began the first of February and should wrap up about mid-month.

Despite the work, the marina and its customers are continuing day to day operations as usual, Funk said.

As sections of new floating concrete walkway are installed, temporary byways keep the daily marina foot-traffic flowing.

“Access will not be interrupted,” said foreman Chad McCallum of Bellingham Marine Industries, the project’s general contractor. That includes foot traffic, electricity and water.

Aside from a fresh, new look the construction brings with it a more gradually sloping gangway and wider dock area. The new gangway will allow easier access for seniors, who sometimes had trouble climbing the ramp at low tide, said Funk. McCallum added that the generous new dock will provide more room for fishers to drop a line.

Down the landing at the end of “E” dock, another crew worked from the deck of a hefty barge last weekend to replaced two old creosote-treated pilings with steal supports. Steal pilings in place of the creosote-treated wood is better for the environment because the metal doesn’t leach toxic chemicals into the water like the treated logs do.

City Council members approved the second phase of the project last December. Their vote authorize Mayor Jim Slowik to sign an engineering services contract with Reid Middleton, Inc., for $145,322.

Dredging should take place next summer and continue into the early winter as weather permits, City Development Director Steve Powers said in January. The next “in-water work window” will occur between mid-July 2010 through mid-February 2011.

In 2006 the City Council approved a $19.2 million marina redevelopment plan; however, city staff members have decided to move forward with the plan in phases because of budget limitations, Powers said.

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