Herb Beck Marina improvements in the works

New concrete boat launch among the plans

QUILCENE — The Port of Port Townsend and engineers from Reid Middleton presented three concepts for the Herb Beck Marina boat launch replacement project for about 15 people at a community meeting at Quilcene Community Center.

Representatives from the port also offered updates on plans for dredging the marina channel, upgrading its bathroom, and the status of creating an RV campground on the property at the March 7 meeting.

The centerpiece of all three concepts is the construction of a 155-foot-long, 13-foot-wide new concrete boat ramp with a 155-foot-long, 6-foot-wide boarding float. All of the concepts would involve removing the existing concrete ramp, creating a new approach wedge and installing a new aluminum gangway.

The most notable differences were the orientation of the new ramp, which would affect the width of the passageway between it and the existing dock, and the extent of site work required.

In Concept One, the boarding float would be attached to the north side of the launch ramp. The entry to the new ramp would be angled away from the existing concrete ramp, creating a more straightforward access for boaters, leaving 28 feet between the new ramp and the dock.

“This makes the most sense, but it’s more site work,” Blaine McRae of Reid Middleton said.

In Concept Two, the boat launch ramp and boarding float would be constructed on the footprint of the old concrete ramp. The boarding float would be on the south side of the launch ramp, leaving 27 feet between the ramp and the dock.

Concept Three, like Concept Two, imagined the boarding float would be on the south side of the new boat launch ramp. The ramp would be constructed close to the footprint of the old concrete ramp. The existing concrete wall next to the old concrete launch would be removed and replaced with sheet pile, which would require grading. A distance of 24 feet, 6 inches would remain between the ramp and the dock.

The new ramp would be slightly longer than the existing ramp and its 12 to 14 percent angle would be less steep and thus safer.

The earliest start date for the project budgeted at $2.136 million would be July 2025.

Deputy Director Eric Toews said Concept One is likely the most costly of the three options due to the extent of site work required. Concept Two would probably be the least expensive and Concept Three would fall somewhere in the middle, he said.

“This doesn’t create more capacity,” Toews said of the launch replacement project. “It keeps what we have and increases functionality for users.”

Herb Beck tenants have said they want to see more port action to clean out the marina’s channel, which was last dredged in 2010. Director of Capital Projects Matt Klontz called the dredging “one of the more complex projects” on the port’s to-do list. He estimated about 2,300 cubic yards of material needed to be removed and that permitting would take from six months to a year.

The port is considering obtaining dredging equipment so staff could remove the backlog of material, rather than hiring an outside contractor. Having its own equipment would also enable to better establish and keep to a regular maintenance program, Klontz said.

A remodel of the marina bathroom that is used by marina tenants and campground visitors is part of the overall marina project and will likely occur in 2026, Klontz said. In addition to an overall upgrade, the bathroom will be ADA compliant. Klontz said the port has not yet made a decision about whether it will open the bathroom to the general public.

Klontz also gave a short update on plans to upgrade the campground on the west side of the port’s marina property where the Jefferson County Public Utility District will construct eight RV campsites.

The RV sites would be reserved for individuals working on installation of its $51 million high-speed fiber corridor project. The intention is that, when the project is completed, the port would resume possession of the upgraded campground area for income generation.

The project is still in the process of being permitted, Klontz said, and stormwater and septic design will need to be completed before any work starts.

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Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached at paula.hunt@peninsulanews.us.

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