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Oceanside Harbor’s J-Dock replacement approved by Coastal Commission

The upgrade will bring new infrastructure for 48 boat slips and slightly reduce overwater coverage.

OCEANSIDE—The California Coastal Commission approved a proposed replacement of the J Dock at Oceanside Harbor, Nov. 5. Plans call for a complete overhaul of the gangway, walkways and fingers. Other upgrades include new electrical and potable water services. The project will not replace the existing piles.

Overwater coverage of the new dock would be reduced slightly. The new J Dock would cover 17,081 square feet of water, down from the existing 17,102 square feet.

“The reconfiguration of the existing northwestern gangway to an ADA-certified gangway will increase the gangway’s overwater coverage, but several small sections of the existing dock will be removed in order to compensate for this increase,” Coastal Commission staff said in a report to commissioners.

Coastal Commission staff said the number of slips, and the slip mix, will remain unchanged.

“The existing walkway, fingers, gangways, and utilities will be replaced and, in some instances, reconfigured. The walkways and fingers will be replaced in-kind with floats made of expanded polystyrene foam fully encapsulated in lightweight concrete,” Coastal Commission staff said in a report to commissioners. “The existing 35-foot gangway at the northwestern end of the dock will be replaced with a new aluminum 80-foot ADA-certified gangway with a security gate. The existing 35-foot gangway at mid-dock will be replaced with a new aluminum 38-foot gangway.”

Some “bottom disturbance” is expected as part of the J Dock replacement project, mostly associated with the use of temporary anchors. The anchors will be used to secure new dock floats as they are being assembled.

There are no eelgrass or other sensitive habitats in the J Dock area, according to Coastal Commission staff. The city of Oceanside, however, must conduct surveys to ensure no new eelgrass growth at the project area, should it occur, be affected. If eelgrass or other sensitive habitats do develop in the project area and they are negatively affected, the city must mitigate those harms, per the California Eelgrass Monitoring Program.

“Construction is anticipated to take place from February 2021 through May 2021, which is typically a period of lower public use of the harbor,” Coastal Commission staff said in a report to commissioners. “Approximately ten slip renter parking spaces near the J Dock will be used to temporarily stage materials and equipment. Pedestrian detours will maintain access while public walkways adjacent to J Dock are temporarily inaccessible during the unloading of floats.

“The existing dock structure will be disassembled using hand tools and a work boat, and the materials will be removed using either a land-based crane or forklift or a waterside barge mounted crane,” Coastal Commission staff continued. “The new dock system will be manufactured off-site and shipped to the site by truck. The new docks will be placed in the water by land-based crane or forklift and assembled using hand tools.”

Coastal Commission staff said J Dock has outlived its useful life. The dock, according to Coastal Commission staff, “has experienced extensive corrosion since its construction [more than] 55 years ago.”

Oceanside Harbor opened to boaters in 1963 It is operated by the city of Oceanside. There are 30 docks and 960 slips, which recreational and commercial boaters can lease on a monthly or daily basis.

J Dock is home to 48 recreational boat slips.

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