April 12, 2021
The City has completed contract documents and went out to bid last week on the 95 Mechanic Street Seawall and Wharf Replacement project. The project is part of the City’s ongoing responsibility to maintain seawalls.
The City acquired the property in 2014 in anticipation of the need to replace the Mechanic Street pump station. That work is included in the FY23 & FY24 CIP. At the time of purchase, City engineers determined that the wharf and its circa-1949 buildings were beyond repair and not safe to enter. The buildings were cleaned out and a perimeter fence was installed.
Following the collapse of the 95 Mechanic Street Wharf on August 4, 2019, Portsmouth DPW brought in an emergency team to complete demolition of the wharf and buildings and to secure the site. A Pickering Marine barge and crane worked from the water while Renaud Industries deployed two excavators to take apart the buildings. The demolition work did not include the existing house that was not part of the wharf.
Before the collapse, City staff had been developing documents to request a construction bid to replace the wharf and seawall as first steps that needed to be completed before other future site improvements at 95 Mechanic Street and the public properties on either side. Staff had also secured the appropriate DES permits in anticipation of the demolition work.
The City held a public information meeting on October 3, 2019 to update the neighborhood and other interested residents on the plans for rebuilding the seawall, reconstructing the wharf and the replacement of the Mechanic Street Pumping Station. The plan for the wharf is being implemented in phases in order to keep the pumping station in operation while a new station is built in an adjacent location. For more information, including the City’s historical documentation report on the building when it acquired the property, click here.