Two Harbors Agate Bay marina design nixes coal dockThe committee working on the small craft harbor and marina plan for Two Harbors has agreed on a preliminary design for the Agate Bay structure but any completion of the project is still years and millions of dollars away.
By: News-Chronicle staff, Lake County News-Chronicle
The committee working on the small craft harbor and marina plan for Two Harbors has agreed on a preliminary design for the Agate Bay structure but any completion of the project is still years and millions of dollars away.
Last week, engineers told the Harbor Advisory Committee that saving the existing coal dock for use as part of a promenade in the harbor likely won’t work because of its poor condition and the need to provide a safer entrance into the marina.
Saving the coal dock would require entrance from the east, but engineers said the “wave climate” in Agate Bay requires a west entrance to keep boats safe. A west entrance would cut through the existing coal dock, which engineers deemed “beyond any thought of ... reclamation.”
The committee decided to back what was billed as “Alternative A,” a plan that shows a rubble mound breakwall extending from the eastern shore of Agate Bay near the refurbished boat landing and providing a cove for three boat slips inside and a public pier on the west side jutting from a waterfront plaza. The current coal dock would be dismantled or encased to make room for the pier.
The cost of the project was estimated to be $8.3 million, which includes $3.3 million to create the breakwall and nearly $3 million for the pier. Demolition of the coal dock would cost $730,000.
A plan called “Alternative B” calls for the partial demolition of the coal dock and a total cost of $7.6 million.
The costs don’t include amenities on shore, like a boat house and restroom area.
Federal and state funding for any marina project still needs to work through government channels. Tom Killien, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources harbors coordinator, told the committee that agreements with the Army Corps of Engineers for the project have been drafted but are low on the federal group’s priority list.
Two Harbors Mayor Randy Bolen said the city would like to push that priority higher and also get an itemized cost breakdown so the city can pitch the project in the State Legislature for bonding money.
One of the mysteries when it comes to cost for the project is what dredgers might find in the bay. Costs could soar if a large amount of contaminated materials are found in the water.
The committee also needs to finalize archeology studies done at the old Whiskey Row waterfront site that would become part of the bay under the marina plan. It will also look into how the coal dock can be historically documented before it would be demolished.
A timeline handed out at the Thursday meeting showed the design consultant contract ending in October but final plans and bidding for work not completed until 2017.