April 19, 2013
We were lucky. Sandy came so close to uprooting the wooden dock off its concrete footings. At the noon high tide, water both covered the pier's long walkway and pushed it upwards with each surge. The pier was lifted by almost a foot above its support footing because the heads of the bolts restraining the pier made a hole through the wood. These bolts have been replaced by large mushroom head bolts.
The midnight high tide was higher than the previous noon tide, but luckily the water was calm, and the dock was still there in the morning. But it was not undamaged. The long metal ramp leading to the main float pulled off a section of railing and some floorboards. The ramp itself sustained $1,500 worth of damage.
The pulled-up floorboards exposed sub-decking beneath it. The original 6"x10" timbers were rotten in many places. As a fix several years ago, smaller beams were placed alongside of the weaker rotten timbers to support them.
The dock's main support beams are huge 12"x12" solid timbers which are in very good condition. These are attached to the vertical pilings protruding from the water. The whole structure is supported by cross-bracing, which significantly strengthened the dock when they were added a few years ago.
The DMA Board's original plan was to only replace damaged floorboards and railings this year, and then start rebuilding the dock next year. However, due to the poor condition of the sub-decking, and the desire to avoid an unattractive patched-up dock this year, the Board voted to rebuild the dock in essentially three phases.
We are currently in the 1st phase - replacing both the sub-decking and deck floorboards of the 25'x41' rectangular 'viewing' area of the dock. The sub-decking is now two 6"x6” pressure-treated pine beams stacked vertically, held in place by 3/4" through-bolts, washers and nuts.
Phase II will replace the railings and lighting around the new decking. Temporary railing and lighting will be in place when the dock opens for the season May 4. The new railing, also made of ipe, will be installed throughout the summer one section at a time. The new lighting plan eliminates the object of much complaint and eyesore - the hodge-podge lightpole. In its place will be "dark sky" downward facing lights bathing the floorboards.
Phase III will replace the 200 foot pier, and this is next year's project. Electrical work will also be performed then, mostly to replace cracked conduit.
What is this costing? Materials alone for the pine sub-decking, ipe floorboards and stainless steel hardware is $25,000. Railings and lighting could cost another $25,000, with a similar amount next year, for an estimated $100,000.
Note that this does not include labor. That's because our incredible groundskeepers, Freddy and Segundo, are doing the entire rebuilding. They started in freezing March with snow on the ground. The 6”x6”x18’ beams weighed 100 pounds apiece - which they carried on their shoulder while walking on a 6” wide beam above open water on windy days. Manor residents as a whole owe Freddy and Segundo a huge thanks for their dedication, can-do attitude, exertion beyond the call of duty, and saving us a lot of money.
Peter Schorr designed, sourced and purchased all of the materials, made sure Freddy and Segundo had the right tools, and spent several restless nights worrying about finishing in time for our May 4 opening (which it will). The dock would not have been rebuilt this year without him. Thank you Peter.
Thanks are also due Kevin Wolfe and Mike Gannon, who are designing the railings and lighting.
The goal is to have a dock worthy of its residents that we’re proud to call the “Manor Dock”.
-- Greg Ronan
1. Superstorm Sandy at the noon high tide on October 29, 2012.
2. The ramp broke off the dock, taking some railing and floorboards along with it.
3. Some railings and floorboards removed to begin the reconstruction; looking south towards Opti dock.
4. Exposed sub-decking.
5. Rotten sub-deck beam. Note newer (light brown) support beams added several years ago.
6. Closer view of sub-decking.
7. More sub-decking.
8. Peter Schorr, Bernie Haber and Vince Aliperti discussing the dock.
9. The base of the old light post. Silhouette of the light post is visible in photo 1.
10. About 1/2 the floorboards removed; looking southwest.
11. Good view of structural 12"x12" support beam.
12. "Archway" to the launch, without decking, the ramp or the float.
13. Cross-bracing on 12"x12" timbers; looking northwest.
14. All floorboards and sub-decking removed. New 6"x6" sub-decking beams in foreground.
15. 6"x6" beams.
16. Freddy & Segundo loading beams onto a wheelbarrow. Each beam weighs over 100 pounds.
17. Wheelbarrow transportation.
18. Beams queued up.
19. Damaged main ramp.
20. Loading the ramp onto the ramp builder's truck. He drove it to Maine where it was repaired.
21. It took 6 people to get the ramp onto the truck.
22. New sub-decking put into place. Note alignment strings.
23. Closer view of stacked 6"x6" sub-deck beams.
24. Segundo holding an extension cord.
25. Five of the nine sub-decking beams; looking northeast.
27. Freddy preparing to drill hole for attachment bolts.
28. The water below. No safety net.
29. Peter Schorr surveying.
30. Finally, the new ipe decking.