Contractors are working toward completing a long-awaited project to provide Plymouth with a new and larger commercial fishing pier.
The 18,360-square-foot T Wharf is being built on the site of the former antiquated pier, next to the Town Wharf and behind Wood’s Seafood. The old 7,780-square-foot pier was demolished at the start of construction this spring.
“This is the single-most important project we’ve had on the harbor in quite some time,” said David Gould, the town’s director of marine and environmental affairs, who added the new pier will improve Plymouth’s existing lobster and groundfish industries as well as emerging ones such as shellfish aquaculture.
He said the project, expected to be completed by the end of the year, is also helping to spur private investment, citing plans by Wood’s Seafood to expand its fish market.
Governor Charles Baker recently toured the site of the $4 million project, paid for partially with a $2 million grant from the state’s MassWorks Infrastructure program. According to Gould, Baker called the project an ideal one to receive MassWorks funding, which is intended to help encourage local economic development.
To date, most of the piles for the new wharf have been driven, and about half the decking and half the supporting pile caps and cross bracing have been installed.
Gould said Plymouth’s efforts to replace the former wharf stretch back more than a decade. The old pier, built in the 1920s, was in such deteriorated condition that the town closed it to vehicles about 10 years ago and about two-thirds of it to pedestrians about five years ago.
Plymouth secured $150,000 in 2005 from the state Seaport Advisory Council to design and permit a new wharf. But Gould said that until the MassWorks award last fall, the town was unsuccessful in landing state funds to help with construction.
In addition to being a larger, modern facility, the new wharf will have concrete decking that will enable fishermen to do welding and other work without fear of the pier catching fire. It also has electricity, water, and sewer service, which the old pier lacked, and will include a boardwalk, improving pedestrian access to the waterfront.
John Laidler can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.