Work to overhaul Sag Harbor’s historic Long Wharf Village Pier and restore the centerpiece attraction could begin this year, village officials said.
The estimated $3 million project got a boost last month after it won a $550,000 New York Empire State Development grant. The rest of the project will be funded through village reserve funds and potentially through additional grants and a bond, village officials said.
When completed, the pier, which is the first impression many tourists have of the village, will feature a boardwalk-style promenade with a railing, a resurfaced parking lot and the addition of a storm-water treatment system.
The wharf was originally built circa 1770, destroyed in an 1871 warehouse fire and rebuilt in 1877. The historic strip was transferred from the village to the county in 1947 and back to the village in 2013. Once a port for whaling and trade ships, it later became a railroad spur and a popular steamship stop in the late 19th century. Today, it’s used by pleasure boaters, reflecting the village’s evolution.
“The wharf has been a focal point in every one of our historic steps to where we are today,” said Sag Harbor Historical Society Trustee Jean Held.
The 0.15-mile wharf, mostly a dock and parking lot for visitors, is structurally sound although its surface is deteriorating. Its steel bulkhead is rusting, the asphalt pavement is uneven in some areas and the space has no lighting. Untreated rainwater runs into the harbor during storms.
Plans for the project were presented at the Nov. 28 Sag Harbor Village Planning Board meeting.
Under the proposal, the asphalt paving would be removed and replaced, though the area’s 45-degree angle parking space configuration would remain and no parking spaces would be lost.
The proposed boardwalk-style promenade would be 8.5 feet wide and made of wood or composite flooring. A 3.3-foot-wide planting strip and curb would separate the parking area from the promenade. Plans also call for 42-inch railing with stainless steel infill, a barrier that would prevent pedestrians from falling into the harbor. A water filtration unit would also be installed to remove sediment, debris and hydrocarbons before storm-water flows back to the harbor. Landscaping would aid in storm-water recharge, lighting would make the wharf easier to navigate at night and a fire suppression standpipe would be an added safety feature.
“This is a project that is both for the public and the harbor,” said Sag Harbor Village Trustee Robert Stein.
Suffolk County completed a dredging project in the area surrounding the pier on Nov. 13, according to Legis. Bridget Fleming’s (D-Sag Harbor) office, which may allow the wharf to accommodate more large yachts. The board has discussed adding four more slips, though no plans are in place.
The yachts could be considered a boon for the village as they bring in money through docking fees and attract visitors curious to see the large vessels.
“From a business perspective, we’re a waterfront village and that’s vital to what attracts people here. If there is room for more boats to come in, that’s a huge draw,” said Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce president and Sag Harbor Variety owner Lisa Field.
Plans call for:
- Boardwalk-style promenade with perimeter
- New landscaping and lighting
- New steel sheets on the bulkhead
- Asphalt resurfacing
- Stormwater treatment unit