Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Wednesday, May 17, 2023 @ 1:06 p.m. / Infrastructure, Local Government, Our Culture

Crescent City Harbor Aiming For a Rebuilt, 'Multi-Use' Citizens Dock; Will Seek Public Input

Crescent City Harbor officials are seeking community input as they embark on a Citizens Dock rebuild. | File photo: Andrew Goff


Crescent City Harbor Adds $1.38 million Coastal Conservancy Grant to List of Wins, Pursues Federal Dollars


Starting next month, Crescent City harbor officials will seek community input as they figure out what a rebuilt Citizens Dock will look like.

The goal is to make the 70-year-old wharf as multi-use as possible, Harbormaster Tim Petrick told the Wild Rivers Outpost. The meetings also coincide with a districtwide study by Moffatt & Nichol to determine expansion possibilities for commercial and recreational fishing, boating and visitor-facing activities and amenities such as cabins and RV parks at the port.

The study will also help harbor officials figure out if the port can offer support for offshore wind energy development, Petrick said.

“I don’t know how much information it’s going to give us that is helpful in the planning of the Citizens Dock replacement, but it may identify some potential uses we haven’t thought of,” he said, adding that both the Citizens Dock and adjacent seawall replacement projects seek to modernize that infrastructure. “Can we set up Citizens Dock to be able to handle some wind power support boats, or maybe potential small container shipping, and also have plenty of room for the fishing industry — how can we do everything?”

On Tuesday, Petrick told Harbor Commissioners he expected the Moffatt & Nichol study to be concluded next month.

The Harbor District will hold six to eight meetings between June and August, and will also be disseminating surveys both on paper and online, said Mike Bahr, founder of Community Solutions, a grant-writing firm that’s contracted with the Harbor. At the Board of Commissioners’ June 6 meeting, a presentation on the rebuild of both Citizens Dock and the seawall will be on the agenda, he said.

The issue will come back to Harbor Commissioners in September before engineers begin the design phase, Bahr said.

A $927,000 Coastal Conservancy grant is paying for the permitting and design phase for the Citizens Dock replacement. Petrick said the Harbor District is also using those dollars to get the seawall replacement project through the permitting phase since they’re right next to each other.

Those Coastal Conservancy dollars will also act as part of the Harbor District’s required contribution for $7.4 million in 2022 Port Infrastructure Development Program grant dollars to replace the seawall.

Administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, the PIDP money will pay for a new public hoist. Petrick said he wants to install as many hoists and cranes on the seawall as possible since Citizens Dock will be out of commission for about two years while it’s being replaced.

“The timeline is a little bit up in the air in that it’s going to be a phased project. The seawall is the first phase because it’s so degraded,” he told the Outpost. “We have to do the seawall before we can do Citizens Dock. I’m shooting for by the end of next year, by the end of 2024, for being completed with the seawall and moving straight into the replacement of Citizens Dock.”

But the Harbor District is still pursuing grant dollars for the construction phase the Citizens Dock project. By the end of the year, the Harbor District will have written $20 million in grant applications. So far, it’s been awarded about $10 million in grants, Petrick said.

The Crescent City Harbor has $70 million in infrastructure that needs replacing, Petrick said.

Meanwhile, state and federal emergency management representatives toured the harbor to view the damage January storms wreaked on the Anchor Way and Whaler Island Groin breakwaters. Bahr told commissioners they were determining whether FEMA should expand funding in the hopes of preventing further storm damage.

“We do not have a report back yet from their findings. We expect that in about a week,” Bahr said. “We have cost estimates due to them June 2, depending on whether they are just building it back or requesting that it can be built back better.”

The vast majority of the outer wall is under the jurisdiction of the Army Corps of Engineers, Petrick said. The design likely won’t change, though FEMA has recommended using larger rocks and raising it as a way of preventing further damage.

Meanwhile, Anchor Way itself needs to be repaired, Petrick said.

“They’re going to need to figure out the sublayers because we got sinkholes opening up under it,” he said. “The soil under the road has liquified at some point and it’s washing out from underneath the barriers there. It’s just getting worse.”

Another Coastal Conservancy grant is being used to install beach access and public restrooms and showers near South Beach. Bahr said the harbor is still waiting on the grant contract and a notice to proceed on the project.

The Crescent City Harbor District has also taken the lead in a multi-agency attempt at bringing up to $10 million in state Community Economic Resilience Fund dollars to the North Coast. Other Del Norte agencies pursuing CERF dollars include the Tri-Agency Economic Development Authority, the Del Norte Healthcare District, the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, Elk Valley Rancheria and the Community Food Council.

Other partners, including the Redwood Parks Conservancy, the North Coast Small Business Development Center and the Port to Partnership program work in Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties.

On Tuesday, Bahr said Crescent City was also seeking CERF dollars for a regional transportation center, but wound up getting grant funding from another source. Bahr said CERF hasn’t yet issued awards notifications.


© 2024 Lost Coast Communications Contact: