The Gull Pond boat ramp at the end of Manhanset Road in Greenport has long been one of the best put-in spots on North Fork, used by scallopers, fluke fishermen and recreational boaters trying to access the eastern reaches of the Peconic Bay.
The 124-foot-long bulkhead surrounding Norman Klipp Park, a Southold Town-owned beach on a peninsula jutting into Gull Pond just east of Greenport Village, has been in dire shape since Superstorm Sandy hit nearly two years ago.
Southold had been hoping to use money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to repair the bulkhead, but with no money from FEMA forthcoming as of yet, this fall they’re planning to do the work this fall before their DEC permit for the repair, issued just after Sandy, expires in October, with the hope that a portion of the work will be reimbursed by FEMA.
Town Engineer Jamie Richert told the town board at a work session Aug. 26 that the town had been expecting FEMA to reimburse $30,000 of the cost of the $129,600 project, but could receive more if the town submits the entire cost of the project to FEMA.
The board agreed to accept the bid of Crowley Marine Contracting to do the work this fall.
“I looked at it. That’s really kind of a jewel of a park,” said Councilman Bill Ruland. “It has to be repaired. There’s no question about that.”
“There’s a lot of use in Gull Pond. Every house there has a boat,” addec Councliwoman Jill Doherty.
“It’s one of the better boat ramps we have,” agreed Mr. Richter. “We have scallopers go out there.”
Councilman Bob Ghosio said there’s also a plan in the works to replenish sand at the beach at the park, which, in conjunction with the bulkhead project, would make the park a great destination beach.
Work is expected to begin just after the Labor Day holiday weekend.
Southold is also planning to get to work on its project to replace the Bay Avenue Bridge in East Marion just after the holiday weekend.
The bridge, which has been sinking into Lake Marion and is no longer stable enough to handle heavy loads, is the only access to the bayfront neighborhood on Rabbit Lane south of the lake, and the town has arranged a detour over private property for residents of those neighborhoods until work on the bridge is completed at the end of this year.
Town Engineer Michael Collins said at the board’s Aug. 26 regular meeting that the town highway department will put a detour in place down Old Orchard Lane and then east on South Lane and over the private Huckleberry Hill Road on the Tuesday after Labor Day, though people won’t be required to use the detour until after the bridge is demolished.
“The signs on Route 25 won’t go up until the bridge demolition occurs,” he said.