The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Iron County seeks Saxon Harbor marina bids


May 10, 2018


Hurley — The effort to rebuild Saxon Harbor after it was destroyed in the July 2016 storm continues, with the Iron County Forestry and Parks Committee voting to seek bids for dredging and other work in the marina at its meeting Tuesday.

The work would consist primarily of dredging approximately 21,100 cubic yards of sediment from the portion of the marina the county is responsible for and repairs to the retaining wall around the basin.

“Those are the two big ticket items,” Iron County Forestry and Parks Administrator Eric Peterson told the Daily Globe Wednesday.

Along with those two items, the contract is also expected to include constructing the new boat landing, rebuilding the east boat launches, replacing the wood bumpers along the east wall of the marina and work on the marina’s center peninsula.

The bids are due May 24, according to Peterson, with the contract expected to be awarded at the Iron County Board of Supervisors May 29 meeting.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded Roen Salvage Company the contract for its portion of dredging in the marina in September 2017. That $993,000 contract calls for the Sturgeon Bay, Wis. company to remove approximately 18,000 cubic yards of sediment from the marina’s main channel.

The work on both dredging contracts are expected to be complete this August.

While the move to seek bids for the county’s portion of the marina dredging keeps the project on schedule for the marina’s completion this year and a 2019 re-opening, the effort to rebuild Saxon Harbor’s campground has hit a delay.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is requiring the county complete an environmental assessment for the project, Peterson said, due to the nature of the site chosen for the campground.

In November, the county board approved a plan for a 26-site campground to be located along County A across from the Harbor Lights bar.

The environmental assessment is required due to the amount of earth that needs to be removed from the site to build the campground, according to Peterson.

He said the assessment evaluates the proposed design plan and its impact on the site, as well as the other options county looked at before settling on the location to make sure “the current plan is the best alternative with the least impacts to the environment.”

The campground can’t be rebuilt in its former location due to a state law that prohibits a campground from being built in a floodplain without an advance warning system.

While an environmental assessment usually takes between four and six months to complete, Peterson is hoping for a shorter timeframe.

“Most of the field work is done, so we’re going to shoot for two-and-a-half (months),” he said. “But then it needs FEMA approval.”

While FEMA’s decision to require the assessment delays the campground by several months, Peterson said he hopes the county will be able to seek bids sometime after Labor Day.

If the bids can be called for this summer or fall, Peterson said the campground could still be completed later in 2019 as much of the dirt moving can be completed in late fall or early winter of this year.

Other than the environmental assessment, Peterson said the design work for both the marina and campground should be complete by the end of May.

These are some of the final contracts needed for Saxon Harbor’s reconstruction, with an additional contract for finishing work on the marina — such as paving, concrete work, water and electrical work and dock installation — expected to be bid out in the coming months, following FEMA signing off on the plan.


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