NAPA – A new boat dock near Main and Fourth Streets is scheduled for completion in October on the west bank of the Napa River in front of the Pear Restaurant at the Riverfront development.
The 176-foot long and 10-foot wide floating concrete structure will be more than just a place for boating enthusiasts to tie up for dinner at local restaurants or for a stroll along the promenade – eventually it may usher in a new era of river enterprise with commercial tours, water taxis, gondolas and other vessels bringing guests from the Bay Area to Napa – as well as serving as a transfer point to disembark visitors destined for local resorts.
[caption id="attachment_79280" align="alignright" width="400"] The new Napa 176-foot long prefabricated concrete boat dock will be put in place in front of the Riverfront development this October in the area outlined by the float ring. The gangway will be in accessed from the gates shown on the promenade by the Pear Restaurant. Dredging work is completed and pilings are in place.[/caption]
“This project raises the larger issue of solidifying the riverfront vision and promoting economic vitality through improved boating access along the Napa River,” according to Public Works Director Jacques R. LaRochelle, in a written presentation to the Napa City Council in July.
“Coordinated efforts are under way with the Napa Flood Control & Water Conservation District to find funding sources and engage the Army Corps of Engineers for dredging the Napa River channel to a six-to-eight foot depth from Mare Island Strait in Vallejo and on to the Third Street Bridge in Napa.”
[caption id="attachment_79281" align="alignleft" width="400"] This engineering drawing shows the dimensions of the boat dock and the areas reserved for commercial use, public access, loading, kayaks and non-powered boats.[/caption]
Seventy feet of this dock will be reserved for commercial operators with permits. An additional 70 feet is designated for public use, and 36 feet is allocated for a loading zone. There is also a 13-foot detachable kayak launch and a designed 100-foot section for non-motorized boats on the shore side. A 40-inch wide gangway will extend 51 feet from the shore access gate to the dock.
“Localized dredging is under way now immediately underneath and in the vicinity of the floating dock and pilings are being set in place,” said Napa Parks Superintendent David Perazzo.
“All of the in-water work will be done by Oct. 1. Policies and regulations governing the use of the dock will be presented to the Napa City Council Sept. 4 for review.”
Bellingham Marine is building the $1.5 million prefabricated dock in Dixon under the direction of West Coast Contractors, Inc. of Coos Bay, Oregon, the general contractor for the project.
“The river fills with silt over time and there is an urgent need to dredge from Kennedy Park to downtown to provide a four-foot minimum depth at low tide,” Mr. Perazzo added.
Proponents of the new dock say Napa County has much beauty that cannot be seen from the Wine Train or by road.
“There’s lots of enthusiasm for the commercial use of this facility for sightseeing vessels,” said Craig Smith with the Downtown Association. “Commercial interests are the kind of people city hall will listen to.”
Some tour operators have been mooring their vessels at Napa Valley Marina or at the Napa Valley Yacht Club’s dock downriver, and bringing guests by shuttle buses or smaller boats to town and back.