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Davis Park marina on Fire Island reopens before holiday weekend

The $3 million project repaired the ferry dock that was destroyed in an October 2017 storm.

Town of Brookhaven carpenters complete work on one

Town of Brookhaven carpenters complete work on one of the docks at the Davis Park Marina on Fire Island on Thursday, May, 24, 2018. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The Davis Park marina on Fire Island has reopened in time for Memorial Day weekend, less than seven months after it was destroyed by an autumn storm.

Brookhaven Town officials who traveled by boat on Thursday to inspect the $3 million reconstruction disembarked on a new ferry dock replacing one that was wiped out in October.

Private vessels occupied several dozen of the marina’s 250 boat slips, most of which had been severely damaged.

Officials were greeted by Davis Park homeowners and visitors who expressed relief — and surprise — that the marina had opened before the holiday weekend.

“They did fabulous,” said Neil Robinson, a Davis Park fire captain and commissioner, who had taken the ferry to the marina Thursday morning. “Really, really nice. I didn’t think they’d have it all done for Memorial Day, and here it is. Really nice.”

Town officials have said the Oct. 29 storm caused far more damage than superstorm Sandy, exactly five years earlier.

A surge of water kicked up by last year’s storm pushed into the marina, ripping planks from docks and tearing apart portions of the bulkhead.

Town crews fished wooden posts and picnic tables from the Great South Bay.

The marina serves residents of about 350 homes in Davis Park and neighboring Ocean Ridge, and thousands of summer visitors.

Ken Stein, who operates the marina for the town, said the facility is a “lifeline” connecting homeowners and visitors to the Long Island mainland. “This dock is the umbilical cord for the community,” he said.

The new ferry dock is about twice as wide as the old one, town officials said. Electricity and water systems have been restored at boat slips, and new lighting was installed throughout the facility.

Workers on Thursday were finishing installing a new floating dock to replace one that was washed away in October.

The marina’s “tower dock” will be completed in about a month. Work crews plan to stabilize ground beneath the dock’s observation tower, which tilts slightly because of erosion, officials said.

Brookhaven Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said the town would have shut down Davis Park if repairs had not been completed before the start of summer.

“This storm really did a number,” Romaine said as he walked on the repaired dock. “Without this dock, we’re not opening Davis Park.”

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