Port of PA to replace John Wayne Marina ramp

Boat launch will include components from Port of Friday Harbor

PORT ANGELES — John Wayne Marina’s 39-year-old boat launch ramp is slated to be replaced by the end of the year with components fabricated by the Port of Friday Harbor.

Port of Port Angeles commissioners on Tuesday approved an interlocal agreement with the Port of Friday Harbor for eight dock sections constructed with timber framing and high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe at a cost of $181,115.

Port of Port Angeles environmental manager Jesse Waknitz said the Port of Friday Harbor fabricates the marina floats used at its facilities to be easily maintained and as a cost-effective alternative to commercially manufactured floats.

“This project allows us to assess the performance and feasibility of future in-house fabrication and similar float projects both at John Wayne Marina and the Port Angeles Boat Haven,” Waknitz said.

The new boat launch will have the same footprint as the existing dock, which is 174 feet long and 8 feet wide.

The projected budget for the project is $343,000. The state Recreation and Conservation Office’s Boating Facilities Program is providing 75 percent of the funding ($257,250) and the port is providing a 25 percent match ($85,750).

Director of Engineering Chris Hartman said by the port saved $50,000 to $70,000 by purchasing the floats through the interlocal agreement and having port staff install them.

“I really appreciate you guys at creative ways to do some of these work projects,” port commissioner Steve Burke said. “It is a great opportunity for us to dip our toe in and see if it’s a design we like.”

The port is not ready to manufacture its own docks, Hartman said, although staff had a great deal of input throughout the design process.

“We’re not quite there yet as having the proper equipment — it’s quite an investment to get to the next stage,” Hartman said. “This is a huge learning experience for us to see how these floats perform.”

Hartman also reported the port is preparing to advertise for bids for the $3 million Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 repair project. An assessment by the engineering consulting firm WSP found that many of the piles — some of which are nearly 100 years-old — are deteriorating and compromised the capacity of areas throughout the facility.

Construction is scheduled to run from Oct. 1, 2024, to Jan. 31, 2025.

Looking ahead to next year, the port is looking at funding opportunities for a project to stabilize the banks of Tumwater Creek located on its property north of Marine Drive.

Grants and Contracts Manager Katharine Frazier said vertical panels that were supposed to stabilize the bank are falling down and must continually be removed by port maintenance staff.

The goal of the project, Frazier said, is to protect the port’s property from continuing erosion and improve habitat for the chum and Coho salmon and steelhead that spawn in the creek.

The port intends to apply for an Estuary and Salmon Recovery Program planning grant funded by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and managed by the state Recreation and Conservation Office. Frazier said staff is working with local engineering firm Natural System Design to develop a cost estimate for the planning phase of the project.

The port’s 2025 capital improvement plan set aside $90,000 for the Tumwater Creek bank stabilization project; the ESRP grant requires a 30 percent match.

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

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