Project necessary for Marina expansion

Dredging crews are pulling out all the stops-as well as a few other things-while deepening the Pleasure Island Marina.

“They’ve pulled our everything from toilets, to boat motors and even a few car engine blocks,” said Island Commissioner Jimmy Dike.

“Before they’re finished, they’ll probably even come up with a kitchen sink or two,” Dike added.

And as soon as the marina dredging is complete, Dike said he will begin the preliminary planning stages for up to 128 new slips fro the marina.

Dredging efforts at the marina began last week and should continue for about six weeks, Dike said. The operation will return the marina to its original 7-foot depth.

Although several attempts have been made in the past to perform a maintenance dredge of the marina, they have been unsuccessful. Dike said that the credentials are excellent for the dredging company currently doing the work, and that he has every confidence the project will be successfully completed.

The project is estimated to cost about $162,500 and will remove about 50,000 square yards of material now clogging the marina. The work is being done by McDougal Construction Company of Kansas City, MO.

“We desperately need more slip space,” Dike said. “We currently have only one sailboat slip and only two or three covered slips.”

Dike said Pleasure Island Commissioner will authorize a needs assessment study and an architect to begin preliminary design work for the additional marina slips.

“Three or four years ago, it was common for us to always have empty slips available,” Dike said. “But I think that our hidden assets are being discovered by folks living as far away as Houston.”

People from Houston can drive an hour to Clear Lake and still need another hour to reach open water, Dike said. “Or they can drive here in an hour and a half and be in open water in three minutes.”

The Island marina currently has 339 wet slips and 77 dry slips, for a total of 416. The additional 128 slips will all be wet slips built on the Island side of the wooden breakwater barrier, Dike said.

“We’ll have to wait for the need assessment an the architect’s construction projections before we determine if we build them in stages of, say, 18 or 36 slips at one time. Or it just might be that it’d be cheaper to drive all he piling at one time and add the slips as we can afford to do it,” Dike said

At any rate, Dike said he hopes to go out for bids for the first phase in 1998.

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