Narragansett – Despite winter’s efforts to hinder outdoor projects and construction efforts, workers in Galilee continue to make progress with on-going and planned ventures at the Port.
February’s meeting of the Galilee Advisory Committee had members reviewing projects presently in the works and ramping up for 2014’s busy fishing and tourism season.
Primary focus of the meeting was two port infrastructure projects, the public access boat ramp and the $6 million South Bulkhead Reconstruction project.
Daniel Costa, Port Manager, for the Department of Environmental Service’s RI Coastal Resources (DEM) explained the work already in process at the public boat ramp site by contractors, Narragansett Dock Works, Inc.
“The turbidity curtain has been installed. The area has been excavated and they’re driving the coffer dam right now,” said Costa. “The purpose of that is to pump out the water on one side of it, excavate it back out and lay down the new ramp in a dry environment.”
The coffer dam portion of the project was expected to be completed within a matter of days per Costa.
DEM is directing boaters to the town of South Kingstown’s boat ramp at Marina Park during construction.
According to a recent DEM press release, the boat ramp project, funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sport Fish Restoration program and by Rhode Island’s Salt Water Fishing License Receipts is expected to improve public access for fishing, boating, and hunting throughout Rhode Island.
South Bulkhead project plans moving forward
Plans for reconstruction of the 925-ft. South Bulkhead at the port included a change in logistics. Construction on the project is now expected to begin at the south end of the bulkhead and work north.
“The plan is to get in and out of Champlin’s before they really get going for the summer and work our way north,” said Costa. “This construction company is aggressive and very optimistic about time tables. They seem to be confident that they can be north of the Coast Guard (building) by May 15. “
DEM’s Planning and Development team recently met with the majority of business owners to be impacted by the construction.
KSJ Seafood, Inc. expected to relocate its business from New Bedford to Galilee, is one of those businesses. With plans to build a new packing facility and offices adjacent to docks G&H, the family-owned company run by the Reposa family would see construction on two fronts.
DEM is presently waiting for a signed lease from KSJ for the property at 272 Great Island Road, former home of the Slavin Ice Plant. The present deteriorated bulkhead segment on the property is scheduled to be replaced as part of the overall project and a cement bulkhead cap added.
“That would be a benefit to KSG,” said Harvey Cataldo, committee member.
“I’ve spoken with some of their engineers and connected them with our planning and development team to sort out some questions as far as easements are concerned,” said Costa. “We’re just waiting on a signed lease.”
Galilee Seafood Festival Expected to Grow
The Galilee Fishing Tournament and Seafood Festival, a favorite summertime family event at the Port is expected to grow pursuant to comments made by Cataldo.
“The festival is growing and it is going to need more space,” said Cataldo.”People were grumbling about dock space.”
“Anytime I hear a comment like that, I ask them if they are representing the fishermen in their complaint or themselves,” said Costa. “If there are concerns, I recommend that a representative of the fishermen that are impacted speak about the fishermen’s concerns at the meetings.”
Cataldo also recommended that the Seafood Festival be expanded to possibly include open space on the ProPark property. He was directed to contact Steve Wright, Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Narragansett for agenda placement with any of his concerns.