Manchester is waiting for the last permit needed to hire a contractor and rebuild the Tuck’s Point docking facility, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) permit. Getting DEP Chapter 91 permits are challenging during the best of times, the process takes typically nine months to a year. Covid has greatly impacted access to state offices and the services they provide.
The goal has been to get all permits in hand, hire a contractor and complete the project by the end of June. The DEP did receive some comments about the project from the public which has triggered an extended review period of 60-90 days. While ultimately the permit will be issued, Manchester will not have the permit in time to do construction this spring. Construction can now be expected to commence in late October /early November.
This is difficult news to share as it means a second season without a ramp to access the floats. It is also not terribly surprising given the effort it takes to get the DEP permit in the best of times. I would like to extend my gratitude to FOTH engineering and the DPW for their work on this project. No effort was wasted to get the project so close to the finish line in this time frame. There was an additional challenge faced, Tuck’s Pt. was never permitted after 1896 which meant more regulatory scrutiny to overcome.
What next? The floats will be placed in the approximate location identified in the permits and the outhaul will be rigged again, with some improvements, I hope. The landing float for the new ramp will be constructed and attached to the existing floats. The DPW and FOTH are currently working to procure pilings and the ramp.
There is a silver lining even if it does not seem like it. To finish the project before the season started the project would have had to pay expedited costs for materials and a contractor likely raising the cost of the project. The altered timeline means a higher likelihood that the bids will be more competitive and could mean savings for our project. And finally, the Seaport Economic Council grant. The grant award of $811,000 for restoration and repair to the Tuck’s Point docking facility covers 80 percent of the entire cost and will ensure access for the public, recreational and commercial operators for years to come.
Please feel free to call if you have any questions or concerns. As always, I will do my best to answer you with the most current and correct information.