State gets funds, sets schedule, for fishing pier in Oak Bluffs

— File photo by Nelson Sigelman

The Massachusetts Office of Fishing and Boating Access has secured state funding for a fishing pier in Oak Bluffs, and it expects to begin construction in February. The pier will be complete by June 30, 2013, according to Douglas Cameron, the state engineer in charge of the project.

Mr. Cameron said his department will advertise for bids in December, open the bids, and award a contract in January.

The state is financing the entire $750,000 cost of the pier. Oak Bluffs will be responsible for maintenance, public safety, and policing.

The work will be coordinated with current planning to fix the crumbling sea wall and shore up the eroding North Bluff, but will not be tied to that project. The town is in the early stages of applying for a grant to fund the waterfront repairs.

“We continue to work closely with the Oak Bluffs Conservation Commission and CLE Engineering to insure proper coordination with the other projects planned for North Bluff,” Mr. Cameron wrote in a letter to Oak Bluffs selectmen.

The L-shaped pier will be 16 feet wide and 317 feet long. The width will provide access for people with disabilities, according to a plan submitted during the permitting process.

The pier will be located approximately 200 feet north of the Steamship dock. At various times during the fishing season, the area holds striped bass, scup, fluke, bonito, and false albacore.

The pier will be restricted to fishing only, and no boats will be permitted to tie up to it.