Menemsha boathouse construction now underway

A staging barge and large crane arrived in Menemsha Harbor on Tuesday and will be used to build the new Coast Guard Boathouse.

The staging barge that will be used to build the new Coast Guard Boathouse arrived in Menemsha Harbor late Tuesday. Work is to begin next week and should be done by next summer.

Coast Guard Menemsha Station Chief Jason Olsen said construction could not have come at a better time.

“We’re all really excited that we’re that much closer to getting the project completed,” Mr. Olsen told the Times Wednesday. “It’s great that we’re starting in mid-September. I think the town is going to be really happy, and we don’t have to worry about additional traffic or tourists.”

The new boathouse will replace the Coast Guard facility that was destroyed in the Menemsha fire on July 12, 2010. That blaze also destroyed adjacent docks and boats and very nearly spread to structures and the commercial fuel dock across the harbor.

An investigation by federal, state, and local authorities concluded that the fire may have been the result of a discarded cigarette on the pier, faulty electrical wiring to the boathouse, or faulty electrical wiring to the town’s pier, which runs along the west side of the boathouse.. The investigation found insufficient evidence to determine a precise ignition source.