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Dec 4, 2017 4:59 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Fishing Pier Repairs Will Begin Later This Month

A view of the old Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays.
Dec 5, 2017 3:01 PM

More than five years after the remnants of the Old Ponquogue Bridge in Hampton Bays were heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy, plans to restore the structures—popular fishing piers when they were accessible to the public—will commence on Monday, December 18, according to Southampton Town officials.

Town Trustee Scott Horowitz said on Friday that the first phase of the project involves collaring approximately 48 of the wood pilings that support the former bridge. That process involves creating a Fiberglass or vinyl shell, or “collar,” that will wrap around the individual pilings, leaving a 4-inch void to be filled with epoxy, according to Jeff Grube, general manager for Chesterfield Associates, an excavating contractor in Westhampton Beach that won the nearly $1.9 million bid on the project earlier this fall.

On Monday, Mr. Grube noted that a number of the pilings are “quite deteriorated,” adding that roughly a dozen of them must be replaced.

Representatives of Chesterfield Associates, who won the bid in October, will drive the collars roughly 2 feet into the bottom of Shinnecock Bay to ensure that the original pilings—which date back to the bridge’s construction in the 1930s—will be structurally sound.

From there, plans include refurbishing both the north and south fishing piers, with the northern one being reduced in length by roughly 300 feet, as well as the installation of new railings on both. The plan is to shorten the northern pier to avoid having to repair a section that fell into the bay when Hurricane Sandy hit the region in October 2012.

Louis Caglianone, project manager at Chesterfield Associates, said the construction will not affect the boat ramp located on the southern pier.

The project’s kickoff date comes nearly six months after Christine Fetten, Southampton Town’s director of municipal works, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency had earmarked close to $4.74 million for the restoration project. When reached on Monday, Ms. Fetten explained that the town will front the nearly $1.9 million for the work, tapping its capital budget, and will seek reimbursement from FEMA once the restoration is completed.

Mr. Warner estimated that the project will take nine months to finish, or four months longer than Ms. Fetten had anticipated back in May.

Once the repairs are finished, most likely by fall 2018, the fishing piers will once again be “a great place to go fishing or just watch the sunset,” Town Trustee President Ed Warner Jr. said.

“It’s going to be a great thing for Hampton Bays,” Mr. Horowitz added.

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