Northport's decades-old Woodbine Marina will be closed in November, demolished and reconstructed in an effort to make the marina larger and safer.
The Town of Huntington had planned to complete the project last year, but superstorm Sandy forced officials to postpone the reconstruction. Now, with permits in hand and funding secured, the town is ready to start the makeover.
The town board at its meeting last week authorized spending nearly $1.8 million for the work, which will include gutting the marina, erecting new docks and extending the marina by 40 feet. The marina also will be dredged to remove silt deposits, which have made it shallower and less accessible to larger boats, town officials said.
When the project is complete, the marina will be able to house an additional 20 boats; the extra income will help defray the cost of the project and the slips are in demand. The marina currently can hold 26 boats and has a 14-year waiting list, said town Senior Harbormaster Harry Acker.
"Anytime you increase services and accommodations for boaters, it is a good thing," said Jackie Martin, commodore of the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht & Boat Clubs.
Last week, Acker stood on one of the marina's docks and pointed out deteriorating wave baffles, which are rows of wooden fencing that stand in the water and protect the marina from waves and wind, Acker said. He said the lighter wooden baffles will not be rebuilt because the new, stronger concrete docks make them unnecessary.
"If we are keeping a marina open, it has to be safe," said Supervisor Frank Petrone, who joined Acker at the marina. The town owns and operates the Northport Harbor marina, which was built in the 1960s. The town also has two marinas in Huntington Harbor.
The town started discussing the project in 2007 and a bond was secured in 2011, officials said.
Northport Mayor George Doll, a lobsterman, said village officials had some concerns with the plan when the town first started exploring the project. Doll said "we weren't too excited" about the expansion, mainly because of worries that the "kind of unsightly" wave baffle would be extended.
But the village is on board now, since improving docks negates the need for the baffles and the town is going to allow the village to park its police and pump-out boats at the marina, Doll said.
The project also includes the installation of finger floats that will branch off the main platforms. These floats will allow people to access their boats from the side of the vessel and not just from the bow or stern, town officials said.
Terry Contracting & Materials of Riverhead was awarded the contract. The marina will close on Nov. 1 and is expected to reopen April 1. The parking lot at the marina will not be demolished during the project.