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Jun 17, 2015 12:51 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Town Trustees: One Old Ponquogue Bridge Fishing Pier Is Salvageable

The old Ponquogue Bridge fishing piers in Hampton Bays remain closed to the public, but that could soon change once the town brings in contractors to repair the battered structures. KYLE CAMPBELL
Jun 17, 2015 1:30 PM

An underwater examination of the old Ponquogue Bridge fishing piers in Hampton Bays has revealed divergent destinies for the north and south piers, according to the Southampton Town Trustees.

The southern pier should remain mostly intact while the northern pier will most likely have to be removed and, if possible, replaced, Town Trustee President Ed Warner Jr. said.

“We’ll have to take a majority of the north pier out, and we’d like to replace it with a smaller, 100-foot pier,” Mr. Warner said. “The north side doesn’t have the same reef ecosystem as the south side—it’s much shallower.”

Mr. Warner and Trustee Scott Horowitz met last month with the dive captain from Mechanical Marine Consulting Inc., the company hired by the Southampton Town Board to inspect the underwater pilings of the two piers at a cost of $41,500. The piers are located in the Shinnecock Bay, just west of the Shinnecock Inlet.

Mr. Horowitz said the results of the inspection were encouraging. “It is what we expected,” he said. “It’s what I expected. We believed all along there would be a manner in which we could save the asset as a place of public access for the community to go fishing and diving and bird watching.”

Neither Mr. Warner nor Mr. Horowitz knew the specifics of what needed to be done to either pier.

Before the town can move forward, Town Engineer Christine Fetten must finalize the findings of the report and compile specifications for bids. When asked about the report in Town Hall on Wednesday, Ms. Fetten declined to comment, other than saying it was not yet finalized.

The two piers have been closed to the public since last fall and, at one point, faced the threat of demolition because of their deteriorating conditions. Both sides were heavily damaged during hurricanes Irene and Sandy.

The piers are 85 years old and were once part of the drawbridge that served as the precursor to the current Ponquogue Bridge. In recent decades, the piers have become popular destinations for fishing, and the south pier in particular has become a hotbed for diving, because of the rich ecosystem that has formed along its support pilings.

Mr. Warner said the ecosystem underneath the southern pier should remain almost completely as it is, as most of the work required for that structure would take place above water.

The town is still waiting to hear back about a $1.5 million grant that it applied for through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for relief following Hurricane Sandy. If received, that money would finance the renovations to both piers. However, if that grant money does not come through, the town has set aside more than $1 million to pay for the repairs.

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FYI~People that are climbing around the fence on both North and South sides are being arrested for Trespassing and issued tickets
By Jaws (244), Amity Island on Jun 18, 15 10:17 AM
Another patronizing statement from Hug Me Horowitz even though he admits he knows no facts. It must be an ELECTION YEAR!!!
By PoliticallyIncorrect (45), earth on Jun 20, 15 7:23 PM
2 members liked this comment
You've got that right, PI. Scott Horowitz probably figures one more two-year hitch with the Trustees, and then he'll try for something else. The Trustees are no more than a step on the ladder for him.

Most of the other guys have put in long years as Trustees, because they care what happens to the creeks and bays, but not Scotty, he's movin' on up! All he needs to do is bloviate about anything and everything he thinks will promote himself, and that's a good day's work.

There's ...more
By Turkey Bridge (1966), Quiogue on Jun 23, 15 10:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
Just more of your usual partisan postings. I challenge you Mr. Bridge, to attempt to keep up with Mr. Horowitz for the hours he puts in on a daily basis while tending to his duties as a trustee. Go ahead and ask Bill Pell, he will gladly agree with my statement.
By But I'm a blank! (1283), Hampton Bays on Jun 23, 15 10:55 AM
... no need to ask Pell, ask Horowitz, he'll gladly tell you.
By William Rodney (558), southampton on Jun 23, 15 11:01 AM
1 member liked this comment
just make sure u have a couple hours to waste
By PoliticallyIncorrect (45), earth on Jun 23, 15 5:30 PM