Repairs to Prudence ferry dock begin this week

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 9/20/19

With the busy summer season over, scheduled repairs and reinforcements to the Prudence Island Ferry dock on Thames Street were slated to begin Wednesday, Sept. 18. Beginning at 7 a.m., contractors …

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Repairs to Prudence ferry dock begin this week

Posted

With the busy summer season over, scheduled repairs and reinforcements to the Prudence Island Ferry dock on Thames Street were slated to begin Wednesday, Sept. 18. Beginning at 7 a.m., contractors began delivering supplies and heavy equipment to the site.

Fencing was erected the previous week, so passengers and vehicles can continue to access the ferry itself, while work begins on the north side of the pier.

According to Harbormaster Gregg Marsili, the north side of the pier requires repairs to the steel sheet pile, where holes have led to erosion of the structure of the pier. When crews move to the south side of the pier, the focus of the repairs will shift to the stone structure.

“There are not a lot of missing stones. It’s mostly refilling and repointing,” the harbormaster said.

When both sides have been reinforced, the surface will be repaved; the number of parking spaces and layout of the lot is expected to stay the same.

The total project is expected to take about 12 weeks to complete, and will be paid for by a $1,169,096 federal grant from the Passenger Ferry Grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The grant was secured with the support of Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressman David Cicilline. At the time it was awarded, in early 2018, Senator Reed, the ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, helped the Town of Bristol identify the Passenger Ferry Grant opportunity and supported its application.

“This grant will create jobs improving the dock and provide long-term benefits of enhanced safety and accessibility, as well as options to create future transportation links from Bristol to Newport and between Bristol and Providence.  I was pleased to work with Town Administrator Steven Contente and Town Council Chairman Nathan Calouro to support this effort.”

The Prudence Island Ferry dock project is completely separate from plans to expand the Church Street marina and add a fuel dock. That project is still in the permitting phase.

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