, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 26, 2012

Jetty work begins

NEWBURYPORT — Preliminary work has started on the project to rebuild the south jetty on Plum Island, and city officials are ready to inform residents on just what will be happening for the next five months.

Municipal leaders will host a meeting Monday at 6 p.m. at the Plum Island Taxpayers & Associates building on the Plum Island Turnpike in Newbury to provide details.

Workers from Hugo Key & Son, Inc., the Newport, R.I., contractor that won the contract, have started to deliver a load of wood to create “lumber mats” at the staging site in the parking lot on Plum Island Point.

The thick, lengthy wooden pieces will be put down on the beach between the staging area and the jetty to minimize disruption to the dunes.

The contractor also has erected a 7-foot-high link fence around the area that will eventually hold the boulders that will be used in the project.

“The fence is to keep visitors, especially youngsters, away from the staging site and the work that will be going on there,” said Mike Fletcher, a safety manager for HK &S, who was working the site yesterday.

“A lot of people seem to like to come down to the end of the island — I’ve seen many golden labs here to get exercise — and we are taking precautions so we don’t have accidents.”

HK & S last month was awarded the contract to refurbish the south jetty. Its bid was $2.5 million, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would enlarge the scope of the project so the final construction figure is $3.61 million.

The jetty runs about 1,400 feet from the mouth of the Merrimack River into the ocean, and Army Corps managers say that the funds will pay for fortification of at least 1,000 feet.

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