Washington waterfront upgrades coming in 2020

Published 6:51 pm Monday, January 6, 2020

Updates to the boardwalk, more room to dock boats during the busy summer months — these are some of the projects coming to the Washington waterfront this spring, thanks to a combination of City funding and a $280,560 grant from the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management.

While the Coastal Management grant will help update approximately 1,600 feet of Washington’s boardwalk, the city will create an additional 180 feet of short-term public day docks along the waterfront this spring, all with the goal of increasing public access to the Pamlico River.

According to City Manager Jonathan Russell, improvements to the boardwalk will align with goals of making Washington more pedestrian friendly.

“Some of the boards need repair, and we have some areas that are starting to show a little age, so we’re going to make some repairs along that area as needed,” Russell said.

PEDESTRIAN ACCESS: A well-traveled route over Washington’s constructed wetland, the pedestrian boardwalk will receive needed repairs and updates in 2020. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

The state grant funds will also help with maintenance and repairs of existing docks on the waterfront.

“This is bundled with a project the city has to expand the waterfront docks,” Russell explained. “We’re hoping to get construction started on that in the spring, so it will kind of go hand in hand.”

The additional space for day docking will offer new opportunities for boaters to spend some time in the town, perhaps docking for a meal or a scoop of ice cream on a hot summer day. Currently, the City has four public access day docks on the eastern side of the waterfront between the Washington Visitors Center and the North Carolina Estuarium.

“We’re expanding a few of the day dock spaces and filling in some of the gaps to make one continuous day dock along the waterfront to help encourage boaters to access the waterfront, come in, utilize the shops, restaurants and things that are available to increase tourism in the downtown district,” Russell said.

In addition to the improvements along Water Street and Stewart Parkway, Russell said there will also be an extension of two sections of bulkhead at Havens Gardens, a popular spot for fishing, sightseeing and taking in some sunshine by the river.