Port Washington officials took a huge step forward in developing the coal dock Tuesday, unanimously awarding roughly $1.5 million in contracts to build infrastructure for the future park.
“The bids, thankfully, came in lower than our ($2 million) estimate,” Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven told the Common Council.
That will give the city a little cushion to pay for some work not included in the contracts, such as inspection services, repairing and restoring bollards, installing marina pedestals and planting trees, Vanden Noven said.
He said he would have an updated estimate for those costs next month.
Ald. Dave Larson, chairman of the Finance and License Committee, noted that the project attracted seven bids — a product, he said, of the size of the contract and the fact it is a high-profile project.
The council awarded the contract for work on the north dock to Heartland Construction Co., which previously worked on the Sunset Road and Beutel Road reconstruction projects.
The firm will be working with TP Construction, which recently constructed Lake Street and also worked on the harborwalk, Vanden Noven said.
The infrastructure work includes walking paths through the interior of the dock, a promenade, lighting parking areas and an access road.
Pfeifer Bros. Construction Co. was awarded the $281,389 contract to construct a bridge linking the north and south coal docks.
Work on the project should start at the end of September and will likely continue until Thanksgiving, Vanden Noven said. Contractors will likely resume work in late March and complete the project by June 15.
The city will borrow funds to cover its share of the infrastructure work, which will also be financed through a $961,500 Department of Natural Resources stewardship grant. Some of the additional costs may also be covered by the grant, Vanden Noven said.
He noted he recently applied for another grant that could cover a portion of the cost of the marina pedestals, a platform for low-riding boats and some sewer work.
While this work will make the coal dock usable for people, its not the only work being done on the area.
City crews recently completed the first portion of the Sauk Creek naturalization project, building a 30-foot-long bridge over Mineral Springs Creek, Vanden Noven said, and We Energies recently opened the south coal dock, where it created a bird sanctuary.
While the infrastructure work will allow public access to the coal dock, it will be a bare-bones park until the city creates attractions there.
Although the park’s master plan called for everything from a water feature to an interactive children’s garden, those were generalized ideas, Vanden Noven said.
Now, the city has to determine what it wants to see there, he said.
The coal dock committee will discuss what amenities should be added to the park when it meets Tuesday, Sept. 25.
A public meeting to garner ideas on park amenities will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 16.