Phase 1 of Cabrillo Mole rehabilitation project nears completion

City staff said the first phase of a rehabilitation project for the 50-plus-year-old Cabrillo Mole Ferry Terminal in Avalon was a success and the contractor is expected to demobilize this month.

AVALON—The first phase of a rehabilitation project on the 50-plus-year-old Cabrillo Mole Ferry Terminal in Avalon has begun to wrap up. Avalon’s Director of Public Works Bob Greenlaw gave an update on the project at the Nov. 10 Avalon City Council meeting.

“The contractor estimated today they have approximately one month left before they are demobilizing,” Greenlaw said at the Nov. 10 meeting.

The Cabrillo Mole Ferry Terminal Revitalization Project began in August 2019 and was needed to repair structural damage due to time and corrosion from the harsh marine environment. The first phase of the project involved rehabilitating the wharf portion by reinforcing the existing concrete members and steel grates, repairing the existing concrete deck and railing, and installing pedestrian shade structures.

“The project is a success, the wharf is now rehabilitated and will provide at least another 20 years of service and if we keep the maintenance up on it, it could be 50 years of service,” Greenlaw told the City Council.

In July, the Avalon City Council voted to modify construction plans for phase one due to budgeting shortfalls. According to city staff, as the construction progressed, the extent of the damage was found to be far greater than the design report estimated. According to city staff, the need for supplemental funds to complete the work was needed. Partially due to Covid-19, additional funding options were limited and the City Council decided to delay repairs to eight of the 21 traverse beams. Those eight beams were previously repaired in 1990 and city staff said they have an additional five years of service life in the condition they’re in right now. That work could be included in phase two of the project.

Due to the proposed final estimate increasing as the project went on, Greenlaw said they’ll be coming back in December with another supplemental funds request to finish out the project.

“If anyone in the community wants to come and see a tour of the project to see how we got here, or needs more explanation in the field, I’m willing to do that so just give me a call,” Greenlaw said.

Cabrillo Mole will open back up to the public until phase two work begins.

Phase two is a larger project and will include constructing a new ferry terminal building, float rehabilitation and enhancing land transportation facilities including parking areas. Preliminary design work for the second phase has begun and public outreach is tentatively scheduled to start in early December. Construction is expected to begin in early 2021.

The project is being funded by federal grants from the Federal Transit Administration in addition to local harbor matching funds. The City Council in October approved extending the sunset date on a $1 roundtrip increase on cross channel wharfage fees through June 30, 2025 to fund harbor-related capital improvements, such as this.

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