The Coastal Star

Delray Beach: City plans marina makeover as single yearlong project

By Jane Smith

Delray Beach will request proposals in January to redo its marina along the Intracoastal Waterway.

The city marina, just south of Atlantic Avenue and on the west side of the waterway, has 23 slips with eight designated for boats with live-aboard owners.

Although the owners of the live-aboard boats asked for the project’s work be staged in two phases so they could shift locations during the project but not be required to move and change their addresses, all of the work will be done at the same time over the course of a year.

“Staging would take longer,” project manager Isaac Kovner said at the Dec. 3 public meeting about the city marina makeover. Including consultants fees, the marina project is estimated to cost about $4.6 million, Kovner said. The makeover will start in May and take nine to 12 months, he said.

The marina work includes new floating docks, a raised sea wall, drainage and lighting improvements, a new pump station and a landscaped area on the west side of the sea walls that can hold stormwater runoff.

The city Parks and Recreation Department will lose an estimated $99,000 in rental fees from the live-aboards for the one year that the marina will be closed.

The decision was not made overnight, Kovner said.

First, city Public Works staff met with the engineering consultants from the Wantman Group, hired to create the marina drawings that will be put out to bid. Then, city staffers met with their counterparts in the Parks Department to see whether the department could afford to give up that income. Then, they had to make a case to the city manager, who approved rebuilding the docks at once.

“That info was needed before Wantman could do its drawings,” Kovner said.

Drainage improvements to the 200 block of Marine Way are not part of this project. They will be taken up after the marina work is done in 2020, Kovner said.

Much of the floating docks will be assembled off-site and trucked to the marina, said Tim DeLand, structural engineer at Wantman.

The new sea wall will be 3.87 feet over a standard datum point used by surveyors. This height will match that of the new sea wall in Veterans Park. The height can be increased with rising sea levels, Kovner said, by adding onto the walls.

Architect Roger Cope, who is renovating a building in the Marina Historic District, said the project’s proposed pavilion at the north end of the marina was not “reflective of the Marina Historic District.” He offered to design one that was more historic looking. Kovner agreed to take the drawings if they are ready by May.

Meanwhile, work on the 100 block of Marine Way also is on hold.

The city does not own the street, meaning it can’t proceed with drainage or other improvements, said Missie Barletto, assistant Public Works director. City consultants said a state or federal government agency owns the land. The city is trying to determine ownership and request an easement to do the improvements.

In addition, the Public Works Department will present sea-wall survey results at the February City Commission workshop.

The city analyzed the sea walls along the waterway to determine which ones are in good shape and an overall height for the sea walls. The goal of the survey is to create a minimum sea wall height and a sea wall ordinance for property owners along the Intracoastal, said Jeffrey Needle, the city’s stormwater engineer.

Most of the Intracoastal Waterway sea walls are owned privately; the city owns only 1 mile of the 21.4 miles of waterway coastline. 

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