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Coast Guard addresses marina expansion

The United States Coast Guard addressed its concerns about the Port of Bremerton’s marina expansion project in a letter to the city dated April 27.

Hearing Examiner Theodore Hunter requested the letter as part of the public record to ensure that all interested parties had the opportunity to voice their concerns over the project.

In the letter, Commander Mark Dix, alternate captain of the Port, Puget Sound, encouraged the Port to work with the ferry system to explore design alterations to alleviate safety concerns.

“I believe that a viable permanent solution can be agreed upon to ensure the continued safety and security of the port,” Cdr. Dix wrote.

The solution can be found while addressing the security zone issue and the impact of the Port of Bremerton and state ferries’ system using the proposed marina, Dix wrote.

Ken Attebery, chief executive officer for the Port, said the Port is responding to the letter even though it contains few surprises.

“We have found that the Coast Guard’s concerns didn’t go beyond the scope of was already discussed,” Attebery said.

The Port continues to remain committed to the project and believes education will resolve any safety issues, he said.

“We continue to be very intent on improving our existing signage and educational programs, which will provide information to our users on how they should operate within the marina,” he said.

The Port expects the hearing examiner to announce his decision within the next two weeks, but is optimistic that the decision will be announced early next week, he said.

“We will continue to pursue other state and federal permits and are forging ahead with design work,” he said.

The Port is still waiting for its state hydraulic permit and permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Both permits are needed for the port to do construction.

Once the design phase of the project is complete, the port will begin the bidding process, but no definite timeline has been set, Attebery said.

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