The boats are all gone, but the town pier off Washington Street has still been a hub of activity this offseason.
A large crane and two barges have been camped out at the end of the pier for weeks now, as crews from Robert B. Our, Inc. have been busy repairing and extending the wave fence that protects the fixed pier, floating docks, and dinghy docks.
At the peak of summer, the town pier is home to more than 100 boats - both locals and transients - but the wave fence and docks have taken a pounding in recent winter storms.
“We’re extending the wave fence by 100 feet, which will be a huge benefit to the fixed pier and floating docks because it will block it from the northeast, and that’s what does all the damage,” Harbormaster Sheila Lucey said. “The nor’easters come in like a funnel and crush us, so extending it another 100 feet will be amazing.”
Lucey anticipates this phase of the work - which also includes repairs to the fixed pier and dinghy docks - will be ongoing through mid-May of 2023, when the town pier will reopen.
“The slip holders and everyone will be happy with the difference the wave fence and that extension will make for them,” Lucey said. “It’s long overdue.”
Future aspects of the town pier repairs and improvements set for the fall and winter of 2023-24 will include new floating piers.
The work happening at the town pier is just one of several active projects along Nantucket’s waterfront this winter. Mohawk Marine is back at the Nantucket Boat Basin continuing its work on the bulkheads. Meanwhile, AGM is doing maintenance work at the Nantucket Yacht Club and the Steamship Authority.
As many as four cranes are now dotting the skyline on some days along the harbor.