Port of Coupeville to initiate wharf roof replacement

Port officials are walking back their previous plan to perform substructure repairs first.

Port of Coupeville officials will move ahead with replacement of the historic wharf’s roof despite still waiting on permits to replace caps and piles under the causeway, walking back their previous plan to perform substructure repairs first.

The port made the announcement in its June newsletter, citing long wait times for permits for the cap and pile project as the reason for the change. Because parts of this project will take place under water in a nearshore environment, the port is required to obtain a permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service. The port initiated the permitting process for the project in 2019 but has not received a permit yet, due in part to a large backlog of permit applications.

Michael Milstein, a public affairs officer for the northwest regional office of the fisheries service, told the News-Times in January that the the Army Civil Works division and the fisheries service signed a memorandum that would “clear the way for the programmatic biological opinion to be issued by June 2022,” after which it would be easier for the service to process permit applications.

In the meantime, Port of Coupeville officials decided to initiate the roof replacement now instead of waiting until after the caps and piles had been replaced as they originally planned. Port personnel were already planning on replacing the wharf’s roof when it sustained severe damage during a wind storm last November.

Port of Coupeville Executive Director Chris Michalopoulos said the first step in the replacement process is to obtain an updated “as-built” drawing of the wharf, which will happen on June 29. At the end of July, the port will start the bidding process for the project. The port has also planned a seismic stabilization project for the wharf’s walls.

The port’s previous cost estimate of $303,000 for the roof replacement and seismic stabilization were made in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic caused construction prices to soar. The 2019 estimate also planned for a shingle roof, and the port has since decided to pursue a metal roof, which will be more expensive. Michalopoulos said he and other port personnel expect the actual cost to be about 20% more than the 2019 estimate.