Annapolis City Dock

Posted: Saturday, April 13, 2013 By PAMELA WOOD pwood@capgaznews.com

City Dock in Annapolis has received federal money toward a $12.6 million renovation, that will include addressing flooding issues and improving boating facilities.

The City of Annapolis just got a boost for a $12.6 million plan to finish rebuilding downtown’s City Dock.

The federal government awarded a $1.5 million grant to the city, a significant contribution to the massive public works project that will address flooding issues and boat slip improvements.

“City Dock is the crown jewel of Annapolis, arguably our most important asset,” said Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen.

The project will continue work that was started in 2008 to rebuild and stabilize the shoreline at the downtown tourist attraction.

The first phase five years ago renovated Susan Campbell Park and the docks down to the Harbormaster’s Office.

The second phase will continue the work along 700 feet of the waterfront from the Harbormaster’s Office, around the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial and ending at the Fleet Reserve Club.

Construction likely won’t start until after the 2014 fall boat shows, and would take place over the winter, said Virginia Burke, assistant city manager.

The scope of the work is ambitious: tearing out the bulkhead and digging deep behind it to replace pipes and other infrastructure. One of the major goals is to fix an outdated stormwater control system that actually contributes to regular flooding around the harbor, Burke said.

About a dozen pipes drain a wide swath of Annapolis, funneling the water into the harbor. When it rains and tide comes in, the rising water level then backs up into those same pipes, contributing to flooding in various spots.

The new system will include adding stormwater holding areas and pumps, with outfall pipes that can be sealed off so the harbor’s water won’t infiltrate, Burke said.

What the work looks like on the surface — such as what materials will be used on the top of the bulkhead and walkways, whether there will be benches or other features — remains to be worked out, Burke said.

The city government’s ongoing master planning process for the City Dock area could guide the finishing touches of the bulkhead work.

The project also includes replacing all of the utility connections at the boat slips, rebuilding 18 slips and improving the docking area for dinghies.

The boating improvements are what spurred the $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The money comes from federal taxes on boats, fuel and gear and is earmarked for projects that benefit transit boaters with large vessels, said Carla Fleming of the state Department of Natural Resources’ boating services office.

The federal money will be passed from the feds through the DNR to the city. The DNR supported the city’s application because the improvements will help Annapolis draw boaters to dock and spend time and money in the city, Fleming said.

The $1.5 million grant to Annapolis is part of $11.2 million in Boating Infrastructure Grants awarded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to projects across the country this week. Annapolis is the largest grant recipient this year and the only one in Maryland.

The mayor was counting on landing the grant and included it in his budget plans. The rest of the money for the City Dock project comes from the city government, a combination of bonds and stormwater fees that will be spent over the next two years.

“The fact this came through is a big deal,” Cohen said.

(Revised April 2013)