Dillon Marina improvements on schedule | SummitDaily.com

Dillon Marina improvements on schedule

Special to the Daily Crew members work through the snow recently to built the new retaining wall at At the Dillon Marina. The vibratory driver drills the steel beams into the ground through heavy vibration.

Construction is rapidly progressing on the Dillon Marina’s wharf expansion and slope retention wall, despite numerous days in the past few weeks when temperatures plummeted below zero. The expansion is one of the first phases in the Town of Dillon’s master plan to improve upon the existing marina in an effort to attract more summer visitors.

At Tuesday’s work session meeting, council member Jason Smith said several residents have told him they are happy to see progress being made.

“I’ve had several people comment on this in such a positive light,” he said.

Marina manager Bob Evans said the previous wall – which he estimates was built in the 1970s – wasn’t properly constructed, and has been eroding away over the years. Silt, rocks from the wall and storm water were slipping down the hillside and into the reservoir, shifting the shape of the hillside.

“It wasn’t really environmentally friendly to the marina and to the area,” Evans said.

To correct the problem, a large slope and storm water retention wall is being constructed using steel piles – which look like large beams. The piles are being driven into the ground and locked together by tongue and groove to form a wall. The empty space between the new wall and the existing hillside will be filled with recycled asphalt to align the elevation to the current wharf. Catch basins and vegetation will be added to filter storm water and runoff. The recycled asphalt will have to sit for about a year – in case it settles – before it can be paved over.

Work on the project began mid-December and is slated to finished by May 3. So far, Evans said about a third of the wall has been driven in to the ground.

The final master plan for the project was approved a few years ago, but crews had to wait until water levels were low to begin construction. Evans said high water levels would have doubled the price of the project – which is currently about $2.2 million – because they would have had to build a dam to hold the water back.

The crew has been working through snow storms and temperatures well below zero. Only one day of work was lost when equipment couldn’t properly operate because of the cold.

“We’ve made great progress over the winter with the goal that this first phase of marina improvements will not impact the summer boating season,” said Dillon Town Manager Devin Granbery. “This first phase of improvements will literally set the groundwork for future phases of the marina master plan improvements.”

The project is only the first of many improvements Dillon hopes to make to the marina. Other changes include: improved road entrance, new promenade, new Tiki Bar, landscape enhancement, new location for the breakwater (which reduces wave intensity on shore), and improved patron facilities.

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