News Feature

Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, October 27, 2016
Hagen Dock work begins
Parking area closed

Dock construction

Working at ground level (at low tide) an excavator removes fill to be hauled away.

Photo by Jeremiah Savage Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Faith DeAmbrose

Hagen Dock will be closed for roughly the next seven months as the town of Stonington works to rebuild, resurface, and slightly expand the facility.

One of the more visible attractions in the downtown area, comprising a restaurant, fire station, community newspaper office and small park, Hagen Dock also serves as a place for recreational boaters and has parking for roughly 65 vehicles.

The project, which has a completion date of June 1, will reconfigure the dock face, add four parking spaces and increase the structural strength of the facility.

It is a project more than three years in the works.

At town meeting in 2014, voters began to make the decisions that would bring the project to fruition, including putting $75,000 into a reserve account.

At the 2015 town meeting, voters gave permission for the town to apply for a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant to help pay for the “engineering, design, rebuilding and expansion” of Hagen Dock. Voters also transferred $125,000 from surplus (which was added to the $75,000 from 2014), as well as authorized the borrowing of up to $500,000 for the project.

On October 22, 2015, the Stonington Planning Board gave a green light to the project, with a few conditions the engineer and town worked to incorporate.

Construction easements for the privately owned Fisherman’s Friend restaurant and the mostly privately owned fire station were drafted and signed, and as part of the process, Penobscot East Resource Center donated a small triangle-shaped piece of land with water frontage that helped the town work on the entire dock.

Physical work associated with the project began months ago and was funded by the CDBG grant received in 2015. That work included the blasting and screening of rock on town-owned land behind the transfer station and purchase of additional granite blocks from Cormier Construction and Granite.

In a town where rocks are plentiful, rocks were harvested from last year’s sewer upgrade on Highland Avenue (see the giant pile at the ball field), as well as blasted from town-owned land behind the transfer station.

Stonington’s Town Manager Kathleen Billings said the town saved more than $125,000 by blasting and reclaiming rock.

With work now under way, the project is extensive and tide dependent. John Goodwin Jr. Construction of Southwest Harbor was the low bidder for the resurfacing portion of the project at a cost of $657,900.

Goodwin’s was one of three completed submissions (Skip Eaton bid $733,656, and Charles Dugas bid $998,526) although six contractors had initially expressed interest in the project, said Billings.

As previously reported in the Island Ad-Vantages (see July 21 issue), “the project calls for removing all of the fill material underneath the dock surface and replacing it with granite ledge in-fill. The walls of the dock will be reconstructed using existing granite blocks, but will be laid up ‘tighter and better’ than the existing wall. The project will include improvements to the electrical, water and sewer utilities.

“The proposed design for lighting consists of a 7-foot granite base with the light fixture on top. The fixture would be almost nine feet above the ground. Between the lights there will be five-foot high granite posts which will be used as part of the railing system. That railing system will include 1/8-inch wire between the granite posts, spaced at 4-inch intervals to meet ADA requirements.

“There will be 30 lights spaced at 30-foot intervals around the perimeter of the dock. The plan calls for downcast, LED lights, and that light from the pier would not extend beyond the dock and onto Main Street, adding that the lights are ‘night-sky’ compliant.”

The project will also receive financial support from the Stonington Sanitary District, which will contribute $75,000, and the Water Company, which will contribute roughly $64,000, since both utilities will repair their infrastructure under the dock. Billings said she is currently working to determine what the town will need to borrow; however, she estimates that it will fall well below the $500,000 that voters authorized.

Hard at work

Crews with John Goodwin Construction of Southwest Harbor work at Hagen Dock in Stonington.

Photo by Jeremiah Savage
Dock construction

Working at ground level (at low tide) an excavator removes fill to be hauled away.

Photo by Jeremiah Savage