Jessica Cejnar Andrews / Thursday, March 21 @ 11:13 a.m. / Infrastructure, Local Government, Ocean

Crescent City Harbor Seeks Public Comment on Citizens Dock Rebuild

The Crescent City Harbor is seeking public input on a rebuild of Citizens Dock through March 29. | File photo: Andrew Goff


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


Del Norters have until March 29 to weigh in on potential design options for an updated Citizens Dock.

Moffatt & Nichol representatives Rob Sloop and Adam Wagschal gave Crescent City Harbor commissioners a look at six potential alternatives on Tuesday ahead of a community meeting that evening.

Their information came after the global infrastructure firm conducted previous community meetings and gathered input via an online survey and discussions with stakeholders, said Aislene Delane, of Community Systems Solutions, the third-party grant writing firm working for the Harbor District.

A $927,000 California Coastal Conservancy grant is paying for the permitting and design phase of the Citizens Dock and adjacent seawall replacement.

The Harbor District also received $7.4 million in 2022 Port Infrastructure Development program dollars to replace the seawall. Administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, that PIDP grant will also pay for new public hoists.

The survey will be available through March 29, according to Delane.

Though they weren’t asked to select a design, commissioners weighed the need to accommodate the commercial fishing fleet while preparing for future development at the port. Commissioner Wes White, in particular, thought of the harbor’s potential as an operations and maintenance port for offshore wind turbines.

“We need to think 50, 40, 30 years down the road,” White said. “The fishing fleet, honestly, cannot support the harbor. We need to accommodate them all we can and make it efficient, but we also need to think about other revenue, so what is the most flexible plan and what is the cost?”

According to Moffatt & Nichol’s Power Point presentation, the existing structure has 1,720 feet of berth space along the dock and 205 feet of berth space along the seawall.

It’s important to allow the fishing fleet to continue to operate during construction, especially the first month of Dungeness crab season. A minimum of five hoists must be accessible during construction. Fishermen must also be able to access the ice house and fuel, though that could be trucked in, according to Moffatt & Nichol’s presentation.

Citizens Dock must also be able to support multiple industries and generate additional revenue. Public access must also be improved.
Moffatt & Nichol representatives also learned from stakeholder input that having a public hoist the Harbor District owns and maintains with a minimum capacity of 2-4 tons is a “nice to have.”

Stakeholders also indicated that making the pier 10 feet wider to allow semi-trucks to pass each other would be preferable. They also called for more power plugs, LED lighting on the dock and potentially under-deck lighting.

On Tuesday, though his Power Point presentation included five options, Sloop showed commissioners a sixth that he personally favored. It involved expanding the seawall near Citizens Dock first, building a new smaller pier to the right and then expanding the existing dock so it’s 60 feet wide instead of the original 40 feet.

Moffatt & Nichol representative Rob Sloop presented a sixth potential redesign for Citizens Dock at Tuesday's Harbor Commission meeting. | Screenshot

Having the width vary between 60 and 65 feet allows space for seafood buyers, hoists and large trucks, Sloop said. He said it’s also important to maintain navigation space between the two piers so it doesn’t create a bottleneck of boats.

“What we would do is move forward with [this option] in the regulatory process,” Sloop said. “I would go ahead and show these extended very very far in order to try to get you all the permits — go through the environmental process — so that in the future if you have the money, you can expand.”

Crescent City Harbormaster Tim Petrick also reminded commissioners that the Harbor District may need to be prepared to do habitat mitigation for whatever water space the expanded seawall and dock rebuild takes up.

“They were saying it’s square foot per square foot,” Petrick told commissioners, citing information he received from Wagschal. “So for every extra additional square foot we add, we’re going to have to find a spot to create habitat in that exact same amount.”

“That’s why you plan for the most and you build what you can,” Sloop added.

For more information about the Citizens Dock project and access to the survey click here.


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