The Seaport Advisory Council has approved an additional $292,305 grant toward the rehabilitation of the Scituate Town Pier, after costs for the project came in higher than expected.
Officials have been rehabbing the much-used community asset since 2010, with continuation of the work requiring more money from the council.
“I knew it was a good project and the seaport had been behind it when we initially proposed it,” said Harbormaster Mark Patterson, who spearheaded the grant application. “It was always a project that they and we wanted to see done, it was a matter of getting the additional money.”
The council had already approved $325,000 for the project, or 80 percent of the project cost, in 2012, money based off a 2010 evaluation for the work.
The town additionally offered up $88,750 with a vote at the 2012 Special Town Meeting, and work commenced to get a firm cost breakdown.
Yet in August 2013, the re-evaluated project was estimated at almost double the 2010 evaluation, leading the town to return to the state agency to request more funding.
“Obviously labor has gone up, materials, all those associated costs had risen. The original existing conditions survey was meant to do an evaluation of the integrity of the peer…when we hired [an] engineering to prepare the plans and bids and specs, they drilled a bit deeper and found some additional things not included in the original proposal,” Patterson said. ““it accounted for a fair amount of money.”
Officials approved the additional town portion of the money, approximately $73,000 at this past Town Meeting, predicated on an affirmative vote from the council.
On Nov. 7, that ‘yes’ vote arrived.
Patterson said he was pleased to see state officials stuck through with the project despite the higher cost.
“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “We did the original evaluation in 2010, so it’s been well over three years and the pier itself hasn’t seen any real improvements in close to 30 years. It’s overdue.”
The total cost of the project now stands at $771,631, and will include a total rehabilitation of the town’s commercial fishing pier.
Alongside the previously proposed fixes, the project will include improved surface drainage, a new concrete surface, and sacrificial anodes to protect the pier from erosion.
Patterson said only design, engineering, and permitting work had occurred up till now, but construction was expected to start in the spring.
“We hope to go out to bid in December, award the contract in January, and start construction in March when weather breaks,” Patterson said.
Patterson said he anticipated the work to be done in stages to keep access to the Town Pier open, most likely closing one half at a time as work gets underway.
Construction should last four to six weeks, and be completed by July 1, he said.