Construction Will Limit Old Mill Boatyard Access

By: Tim Wood

Topics: Infrastructure , Waterways

BTT Marine Construction Co. is replacing the bulkhead at Old Mill Boatyard. TIM WOOD PHOTO

CHATHAM – Reconstruction of the Old Mill Boatyard bulkhead and replacement of floats will begin this week, restricting access to the facility's parking area.

The boat ramp will remain open through Nov. 20, but after that will be closed, with the possible exception of some weekends. Officials urge boaters to use the Barn Hill Road ramp as an alternative, since no trailer and very limited single-vehicle parking will be available at Old Mill Boatyard.

The long-awaited $1.5 million construction project involves replacing failing steel and wood bulkheads with a rigid plastic bulkhead all around the Stage Harbor facility, according to Coastal Resources Director Ted Keon. New and expanded floats will be added along with new plumbing for the property's shellfish upwelling system. The project is designed to better serve both recreational and commercial boaters. The state Seaport Economic Council contributed a $1 million grant to the project, with the town appropriating another $550,000.

A concrete wash-down pad, originally removed from the project when the first round of bidding came in over budget, has been restored thanks to an additional $84,500 contribution from the Seaport Economic Council, Keon said. It will be located in the northeast corner of the parking lot.

BTT Marine Construction Co. of East Boston, the general contractor on the project, began mobilizing equipment at the site Monday, and will be on the site 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. On Monday a metal fence cut the parking lot in half while harbormaster department staff removed dinghies and floats from the east side of the bulkhead.

Officials are asking that any dinghies at the location which are not in use be removed. The harbormaster office will assist in relocating dinghies for continued access to boats on moorings.

Completion of the project is expected in mid February.

Questions about the project should be directed to Natural Resources Director Robert Duncanson at 508-945-5165 or Dinghy storage questions, boat ramp availability and boat access during the project should be coordinated with the harbormaster's office, which can be reached at 508-945-5185.