The Cornet Bay dock is being replaced. (Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times)

The Cornet Bay dock is being replaced. (Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times)

Pier in Cornet Bay to be replaced

Demolition at the Cornet Bay Marina pier at Deception Pass State Park has begun.

Demolition at the Cornet Bay Marina pier at Deception Pass State Park has begun to make way for a new configuration that will have more space for boaters and protect the eelgrass below.

The state park closed access to the pier in early September so crews could begin taking it apart. Part of the pier is already gone and there is no access to it from land anymore. The floating docks will remain in place until October.

Park Manager Jason Armstrong said the project has been in the works for 20 years. Funding issues and permit requirements delayed the project, but everything has finally come together for the work to get started.

The new set-up will be about a third larger than the old one, Armstrong said. The new pier will be 230 feet long and the gangway to the floating dock will be 95 long. The floating dock will be H-shaped so boaters will be able to get to two sides for moorage; the old docks were long blocks that were not connected to each other.

The change is to address eelgrass concerns and the rise in recreational boating. The former configuration used to endanger the eelgrass, which is a building block for the marine ecosystem, and the new one is longer so it will be a safe distance away from it.

Plus, recreational moorage will almost double, Armstrong said.

“The use has increased. Many of our buoys are full all of the time,” he said.

He hopes the increase in space will be a welcome addition for boaters looking for quick trips and stop-overs.

The project will cost approximately $1.1 million and is planned to be finished next spring. Fifty parking spaces will be closed off for construction equipment and materials. The boat ramp and bathrooms will remain open throughout the project.

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