Marina breakwater promises to add life – minimize repairs

COSA-1-marina-ribbon-cuttinThis morning, the City of St Augustine held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new breakwater installed on the north end of the St Augustine City Marina.

In addition to other dignitaries attending, after the ribbon cutting ceremony, several officials toured the facility with Harbormaster Sam Adukiewicz. Among them, Mayor Joe Boles, City Clerk Alison Ratkovic, Harbormaster Sam Adukiewicz, County Commissioner Rachel Bennett, and City Commissioner Don Crichlow.

Mayor Boles delivered the following comments at the ceremonies:

Good morning all and thank you so much for taking the time to start your weekend here with us this morning as we pause to recognize a job very, very well done.

As a municipality we have many responsibilities to our residents, the businesses that call our city home, and the millions of visitors we host each year, and many of those responsibilities rely on well built, well-functioning infrastructure. This morning we recognize the completion of a very important piece of infrastructure: this breakwater that you see before you.

Our Municipal Marina is a tremendous asset for our community, situated here on the intracoastal waterway, only a short distance from open ocean and of course only a minute’s walk from the center of our historic districts. But, with this great location has come some challenges when we have significant weather incidents for there has been nothing to protect our docks from the onslaught of substantial wave action.

In fact, in the last dozen years, our city has spent over a million-and-a-half dollars in marina repairs because of its open exposure, particularity from strong storms. But now, this new breakwater will greatly reduce the marina’s exposure and thus those ongoing repairs.

Here’s an example: The breakwater includes a critical wave attenuation system that reduces the force of oncoming waves. The new system is capable of reducing an oncoming three foot wave down to a mere six inches.

City staff estimates that the new breakwater system will add another 20 years to the life of the marina’s docks. Its $2.5 million cost is paid through bond money — to be repaid, not with tax dollars, but with funds generated by the marina itself.

And, in just a little over a week, we will all see another great feature of the breakwater. The municipal marina will now be able to handle tall ships including the El Galeón, a 170-foot, 495-ton, authentic replica of a 16th century Spanish vessel that arrives late next week. Were it not for the new breakwater, we could not host the El Galeón and other historic, tall sailing ships.

Before we formally open the breakwater, I want to take a minute to recognize some of those who made this possible and when I recognize you, please raise your hand and let us thank you.

• From Carter & Sloope Consulting Engineers: Andrew Seaver, senior consulting engineer;
• From Hal Jones Contracting, Inc., the project’s general contractor: Garrett Harrison, Project Manager and Fred Chapin, Project Superintendent;
• From Bellingham Marine & Bellingham Marine Utilities: Kevin Thompson, General Manager for the Southeast Region Division; Cliff Norton, General Manager; and Carl Roberts, Project Superintendent; and
• From the City of St. Augustine, Sam Adukiewicz who, as Harbormaster, also served as the City’s Project Manager.

I also want to recognize all the hard work put in by the staff and crew of each of these organizations. We would not be here today, celebrating this new facility, were it not for them and for them we offer a special thank you.

I now ask that my fellow commissioners, along with Sam Adukiewicz, the city’s Harbor Master, and City Manager John Regan, join me as we cut the ribbon to officially open the Municipal Marina’s new breakwater.

Photo credits: © 2013 Historic City News contributed photograph by City of St Augustine

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