Mike McCulley is looking forward to the day he can bring his boat back to the Hancock Creek Marina. That day will now be sooner than later.
After a seven-month construction period, the marina located at Cherry Point is scheduled to reopen on Sept. 25.
“We’re definitely looking forward to coming back. We’re anxious to get a decent slip,” said McCulley, the treasurer of the 50-member Hancock Yacht Club. “We’re looking forward to coming back to Hancock. It’s a lot more convenient for us.”
Club members had to remove their boats in February for the construction, the majority of which should be completed by the Sept. 25 opening.
“We may have some odds and ends to do but nothing that would keep the boats from using the piers and boaters from using the parking lot,” said Danny Fornes, an engineering tech with NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic.
Trade Construction Company is the prime contractor with subcontracting work being done by T.D. Eure Construction and Technical Foundations.
The $3.4 million project has involved more than 22,000 man hours, Fornes said. The work included tearing out half-century old docks.
“It was old, dilapidated and falling down. It was a mess,” Fornes said.
Workers replaced the docks and installed with concrete reinforced bulkheads and several hundred marine-grade pilings.
The old Tiki Bar was removed from the shore and was not rebuilt.
“Everything out there is new construction,” Fornes said. “All the decking on the boardwalk is synthetic, one-inch-thick composite boards.”
More than 800 feet of new 40-foot-long steel sheet piles had to be vibrated into place with a hydraulic hammer to make up the shoreline. Each of the boat slips will have water and electricity.
“It’s a big improvement,” Fornes said. “This will be here forever.”
Adjacent to the boat docks, a new fishing pier was built where the old one was located. The gravel parking lot has been replaced with a paved one with 28 spaces, and the boat ramp has been redone with wing walls to curtail erosion.
A marina basin has been outfitted with a new reinforced concrete bulkhead, and a new paved trailer and boat storage area have been created.
“This will be lovely to come down here to,” Fornes said. “It will be much better and so much safer.”
Members of the Hancock Yacht Club are the largest users of the facility. The club, which is older than the marina, skipped its annual Hancock Creek Regatta this July due to the construction going on.
“There was no way to really host people for a regatta but we’ll definitely hold one next year,” McCulley said.