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Expanded dock nearly completed

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A new fixture at Haddad Riverfront park is coming along quite nicely.

A new 400-foot-long dock should be completed within the next few weeks, Charleston City Engineer Chris Knox said.

Amherst Madison, the Charleston company tasked with demolishing the old dock and installing the new, will bring a barge back to the park next Monday, Knox said.

The contractor's portion of the project should be completed about a week after that, Knox said.

"There is still some minor work that needs to be done," he said.

A handrail on the handicap-accessible ramp to the dock still needs to be installed, and a few of the pilings anchoring the structure must be increased to the level of the others, Knox said.

The height of about four pilings must be increased by just a few feet, he said.

A city work crew then will pull wire through conduit to the electrical hookups and the lights along the dock, Knox said. The conduit, which runs under the new dock, has already been put into place.

Knox is pleased with the construction of the landing and believes it will be a welcome addition to the riverfront.   

The barge parked by the Schoenbaum Stage was used to remove the concrete from the old dock.

That structure was 16 feet wide and only 200 feet long and made of concrete slabs that had to be removed by a barge-mounted crane.

The company removed about 166 tons of concrete, said Josh Pray, construction engineer for Amherst Madison.

The dock removal took about five days to complete, Pray said.

"It was very straightforward," he said.

The concrete slabs were hauled up river to Amherst Madison's facility near Kanawha City where it has been stored for future use, Pray said.

"They will be reused at some point," he said. "However, we don't have a specific use for them at the moment."  

Placing the pilings into the riverbank was a little more complicated than the engineers anticipated, Pray said, because of the rock that lines it.

"That took us a few days longer to finish than we thought it would," Pray said. "We figured it would take us eight days, but it took us two weeks to finish."

Pray confirmed that the company has about five more days of work left at the site before it is completed.

A small change in where a ramp leading from the Schoenbaum Stage down to the dock was placed cost the city an additional $13,500, Knox said.

The ramp was shifted 5 feet to the south to prevent erosion to the bank, he said.

The addition of pedestals that look like lighthouses and electrical hookups on the mooring increased the cost of project by $35,575, Knox said.  

 The entire project will have cost about $576,000 when completed, Knox said. The city secured a $125,000 grant from the West Virginia Port Authority to help fund the project, he said.

The rest came from the city's general maintenance fund.

The dock is designed to float so it does not become submerged when the river rises, Knox said during a previous interview. The old concrete landing did not float and often would be covered with high water.

The new dock is also about double the length of the old, Knox said, and can accommodate more boats.

The entire project should be completed well before the spring boating season.  

Contact writer Paul Fallon at or 304-348-4817. Follow him at


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