“Thank God for Shirley Gomes,” Leach said of the Republican state representative from Harwich who secured $430,000 for the projects. For several years the town has been planning to both resurface the parking lots and make improvements to the boat ramp, which the harbormaster said has been snagging boats and trailers because it has a 15-to 23-degree break along the lower portion of the ramp. Several years ago the town made a deal with the State Access Board to resurface the west side parking lot and expand the facility by 20 spaces. Drainage basins were also installed. The agreement was the town would do the west side lot and the state would do the east side, which caters to boat trailers. The town resurfacing cost $90,000 and was done in 2002. But the east lot project was stalled at the state level. When Leach learned the town of Wellfleet was getting $400,000 in the supplemental budget to expand its boat ramp operations, he contacted Gomes, who also filed a supplemental request for the town of Harwich. That money was approved and will cover resurfacing and the new boat ramp. “They’ve been getting ready for days,” Leach said of preparation for a new parking lot surface. “But the asphalt machine came in today and didn’t waste any time tearing it up.”
The project calls for expanding the amount of asphalt to the north and east sides of the lot, Leach said. He said the conservation commission approved the expanded lot. While there will be more asphalt it will not provide for any additional parking spaces on that side, he said. “It will provide more square footage to maneuver these big trailers around,” Leach said of the parking configuration for vehicles and trailers. The surface of the lot was “totally spent,” Leach said. The new surface will be a big improvement and the vaulted drainage basins will better serve to disperse rain water instead of puddling or running into the harbor.
The drainage system, Leach said, poses problems for vessel owners who used to pull their boats and clean the bottom paint off in the parking lot. He said they have to rethink that practice because the paint chips will have to be controlled.
Leach said the contract calls for resurfacing to be completed by May 15, but based on the quickness of the operation, he expected the work would be done before then. The work does pose problems with accessing the boat ramp and for vessels with truck fueling permits. He recommended arrangements be made to fuel boats at Wychmere Harbor during this period.
“Seems like a long time coming, but that’s OK,” Leach said. “We’ll have a brand spanking new lot for the 2006 boating season.”
(4/5/06 William Galvin)
On the mend
Some people would have given up. Not Larry Chandler.
By Douglas Karlson/ firstname.lastname@example.org