Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fishing pier reconstruction completed

Photo By Kim Upshaw
A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony officially opened the reconstructed Fishing Pier Friday. Left to right are Pax River Executive Officer Capt. Steve Schmeiser, Ens. Matthew Evans, AG3 Hope Glass, CECN Bryson Kleeman, EACN Brian Garro, SWCA Brendon Perkins, BU2 Anthony Falcone, BU2 (SCW) Anthony Kaercher, Pax River Commanding Officer Capt. Andy Macyko, BUC Dan Cornelius, Lt. j.g. Adrian Levin, CECA Richard Raferty, Cmdr. Mike Lewis of Public Works, CE1 (SCW) Shane Rogers, Lt. Cmdr. Nick Tasheuras and Pax River Command Master Chief John Stigler.
In September of 2003 Hurricane Isabel (downgraded to a tropical storm by the time she reached Pax River) tore through Southern Maryland, bringing with her sustained winds ranging from about 48 to 52 knots and enough rain to cause flooding throughout the region — and almost demolish the fishing pier across from the Goose Creek Campgrounds.

The top of the ‘‘T” shaped fishing pier was completely torn away, leaving only pilings and some pieces of bracing still in place — but five and half years later, that part of the damage here is now only a memory, with the help of hard work and dedication of the Seabees at Pax River Public Works⁄Self Help.

While damaged piles were replaced almost immediately in 2003, funding was not available to completely fix the favorite fishing spot of many Pax Pros, but last July the Seabees began the long and aduous job of putting the ravaged pier back together.

Demolition of the storm damaged materials took three weeks to complete using a crew of four. MWR Marina supplied the boats used to remove and replace cross-bracings and in August Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202 (CBMU 202) out of Anacostia agreed to assist with reconstruction by providing two additional Seabees.

CBMU 202 and MWR were not the only two groups to assist with the project. Cross bracing on the pier was installed by Atlantic Targets Marine Operations.

The pier was rebuilt a total of 350 feet to match the original dimensions. The project was completed on March 2 at a total cost of $150,000, which amounted to half of the original estimate for repair.

‘‘It’s great to have this recreational resource back just in time for Blue Crab and Rockfish seasons,” said Pax River Executive Officer Capt. Steve Schmeiser,. ‘‘The hard work shown by our Seabees, Atlantic Targets Marine Operations, MWR and CBMU 202 is a true testament to what can be accomplished with teamwork and perseverance.”

CE1 Shane Rogers contributed to this story.