Point Hudson Jetty Project Overview
Point Hudson and its vicinity is an important hub of economic and community activity at the east end of Port Townsend’s Commercial Historic District. For nearly a century, the Point Hudson Marina has been a cornerstone of Jefferson County’s maritime identity and economy – hosting a wide range of community defining events from the iconic Wooden Boat Festival to fishing derbys and yacht club rendezvous.
The existing timber and rip-rap Point Hudson Jetty (overlapping North and South arms) was first constructed in the mid-1930s, before successive repairs in the 1960s and 90s. It is now severely degraded, well past its anticipated design life, and deteriorating at an accelerating rate. Extensive renovations are required in the very near term (within 3 years) in order to maintain the marina’s continued viability. The immediate focus for rehabilitation is the South Jetty, as it provides most of the protection to the marina and bears the brunt of the damaging winds and waves that are routinely experienced during the fall and winter months.
Between 2015 and 2018, the Port engineered, permitted and proceeded to bid a steel sheet pile/pipe pile (i.e., “combi-wall”) design for the project. In the spring of 2018, bids were returned for the project that exceeded both the engineer’s estimate of probable cost, as well as the Port’s financial capacity. Since then, the Port Commission has heard many voices in the community express concerns over both the cost of a full replacement structure, as well as the potential loss of the visual charm of the present batter-pile and rock structure. In response, the Port has changed its approach, and is redesigning and re-permitting the project.
The redesigned project calls for the progressive rehabilitation of the 258-foot long batter-pile and armor rock South Jetty, rather than total replacement. The concept calls for the construction of a steel batter-pile and stainless-steel mesh lagging system around the existing deteriorated structure. The creosote-treated timber piles of the existing structure will then be removed, the existing rock allowed to settle, and the remaining void back-filled with granite quarry spalls. Thereafter, the pile tops will be connected with a combination of steel cable ties and bracing capable of accommodating a future pedestrian walkway. Overall, the redesigned project attempts to retain much of the aesthetic character and performance characteristics of the original breakwater.
“Soft costs” associated with this critical project (i.e., design, engineering and permitting) are being covered to a substantial extent by a Public Infrastructure Fund (PIF) grant awarded earlier this year. It is anticipated that construction costs will be addressed through a combination of federal grant monies, Port reserve funds, and a bank loan. The Port is also pursuing other funding partnerships.
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