Northport’s Woodbine Marina officially reopened Friday, following completion of the first major upgrade of the facility since it was built nearly 50 years ago.
Town of Huntington said the $1.76-million project increased the capacity of the marina, which has a 14-year waiting list for slip. The facility now has added electrical and water-hookups for boats and is now more resistant to the effects of storms.
The upgraded marina has 56 slips, up from the previous 36, and finger floats, so boats can be entered from the side of the vessel. The floats are cement, which make them more stable than the wooden ones they replaced. The floats are attached to steel piles, which are capable of weathering surges greater than what occurred in the Hurricane of 1938, the largest such storm in Long Island history. Additionally, the area beneath the marina was dredged to increase depths and debris was removed.
“It’s been a long time coming, and it’s been a difficult project, but it was well worth it,” Councilman Mark Cuthbertson said during a brief ceremony marking the reopening.
“What is really amazing, when you stand on these docks, is the cement and the difference it is with the sturdiness. It’s very secure, it’s very stable and the look of it is fantastic. It is such an upgrade from what we had before,” Councilwoman Susan A. Berland said.
The project dates back to 2011, when the Town Board passed a resolution directing the town’s Maritime Services department to come up with a plan and a consultant was hired to prepare preliminary engineering drawings. The plans were reviewed with various stakeholders, including the Village of Northport, the Boating Advisory Council and the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs.
Work was originally scheduled to begin in the winter of 2012-2013, but bad weather twice delayed the project’s start, according to town officials. Hurricane Sandy delayed the issuance of the necessary dredging permits by the Army Corps of Engineers and the State DEC and Department of State’s Coastal Consistency Division. The Army Corps’ permit required dredging to be done during an Oct. 1 to Jan. 14 window, and by the time the permit was issued, that could not be accomplished within the time frame. That delayed the project for a year.
This past harsh winter further delayed the project because Northport Harbor froze over for the first time in many years. Work installing the piers had to be done in the water, and this could not be accomplished in a frozen-over harbor.Of the $1.76 million cost, $1.5 million came from the sale of bonds and the remainder from the Town’s Parks and Recreation Capital Reserve.