TREMONT — A section of the Bernard Town Wharf is to be structurally reinforced as the result of a move last week by selectmen.
In a 4-0 vote on Aug. 1, the board awarded a bid to Wilfred “Wid” Minctons of Charles Bradley Construction for $55,562. Minctons is to shore up a center portion of the wharf according to plans prepared by G.F. Johnston & Associates.
Town officials, concerned that sections of the wharf might not be sturdy enough to support the weight of the large trucks used by lobster buyers, had Johnston design a short-term solution. The town has long-range plans for rebuilding the entire facility.
Johnston estimated the cost of the repairs at $51,360.
Four bids were solicited; only Minctons and Prock Marine Company of Rockland responded. Prock Marine bid $82,580.
The repair is to the center section of the dock where additional stringers and cross braces will be added to increase the load limit to 54,000 pounds.
Johnston has noted that the repaired section of the wharf would carry that weight only as long as the condition of the wood not being replaced remains structurally sound. He recommends ongoing maintenance to replace timbers in that section if they should fail. As a result, the repairs “will last more than three summer seasons,” Johnston assured the town.
Johnston also cautioned the town to limit vehicular traffic on the section of the wharf north of the repaired section. Traffic there should be limited to pickup trucks and other light vehicles, he said.
Selectmen earlier this year discussed a permanent solution to the problem. The cost of a long-term repair is estimated at $250,000.
Minctons, in his bid, stated the repair work would be completed by Dec. 31, weather permitting.
The town was awarded a Shore and Harbor Grant, which is to pay for 75 percent of the $8,900 engineering fee for the short-term solution.