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Construction to start Sept. 12 on $5.4M Watch Hill Marina upgrades

A screen shot of the Watch Hill Marina (Credit: Google Maps)

Work is set to start next month on repairing the Sandy-damaged Watch Hill Marina on Fire Island, according to a National Park Service announcement issued Monday.

New bulkhead and boardwalks will be installed, and electrical and lighting systems replaced.

The $5.4 million project, being funded jointly by the Park Service and Federal Highway Administration, will start Sept. 12 and will run through late summer of 2017.

That means no access to the marina or ferries to Watch Hill until the project is completed, though officials said “limited visitor services may be available” depending on how the work progresses.

Updates will be posted at: https://www.nps.gov/fiis/planyourvisit/watchhill.htm.

“We are working to ensure that this marina is sustainable for years to come,” said Fire Island National Seashore Superintendent Chris Soller.

The marina’s existing electrical distribution systems were damaged by Sandy.

The project’s plans calls for a new, elevated electrical building to be constructed with other electrical upgrades. The new bulkhead and boardwalks will make the marina more resilient in future storms, according to the announcement.

The Watch Hill Marina, directly across the Great South Bay from Patchogue, opened in 1967 and has 182 slips. It’s located on the western edge of the Otis Pike Fire Island Dune Wilderness.

Newsday reported in June that some boaters were complaining the nearly 50-year-old marina should have been reconfigured to accommodate larger crafts.

Soller told the paper the federal funds only allow the park to replace the existing infrastructure.

About the author: Michael White

Michael White is a Bellport resident, longtime newspaper reporter and editor, and the owner of greaterpatchogue.com. Email him your story ideas or tips: mike@greaterpatchogue.com