Edgartown Memorial Wharf construction behind schedule

The rebuild of the upper deck on Memorial Wharf is expected to be completed by July 9. — File photo by Susan Safford

The restoration of Memorial Wharf in Edgartown is taking longer than expected. The lower part of the wharf is complete, but the upper level viewing deck, popular with visitors and residents for the view it provides of the picturesque harbor, remains closed to the public.

Work was expected to be completed by Memorial Day but is now not expected to be finished up until July 8. Weather and a delay in the arrival of specialized materials have contributed to the delays, according to general contractor Mauricio Sampaio.

Mr. Sampaio said that “hopefully” the deck would reopen by Saturday, July 9. Mr. Sampaio said the deck utilizes a synthetic material that will not allow water to leak and is non-slip and non-splintering, an important consideration given the number of barefoot visitors.

Harbormaster Charlie Blair said that although the project was under the $25,000 threshold he sought four bids and accepted the lowest. Mr. Blair said rainy weather in the spring held up the application of the special waterproofing on the deck.

He said new steel reinforcement is in place, the deck replanked, and wiring updated. All the rotted wood was removed.

“The rest of the wharf is ready to go,” he said. The closure does not affect viewing on the Fourth. Mr. Blair said the upper level of the wharf is always closed on July 4th, because the structure could not support the number of people who would likely gather to watch fireworks.