Funding complete for Bristol dock project

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Matt Schickling / Wire photo –  Bristol Borough officials accept a $700,784 check from the state. Fundraising for boat docks at the Bristol Wharf is now complete.

Funding for a project that will bring floating boat docks on the Delaware and an access pier from the Bristol Borough Wharf has been completed.

On Wednesday afternoon, a $700,784 check was presented to Bristol leaders, signifying the end of a years-long fundraising process headed by Borough Council President Ralph DiGuiseppe. The presentation was attended by state Sen Tommy Tomlinson, Bucks Commissioner Rob Loughery, Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick and other local dignitaries.

“In addition to being a wonderful recreational asset, this project will have a dramatic impact on the borough’s economic development,” DiGuiseppe said. “In fact, the mere anticipation of the project has already spurred economic activity.”

DiGuiseppe referenced the recent investments in places like the King George II restaurant, Mill Street Cantina and various construction projects as backing for this claim.

To meet the projected $3 million price tag for the docks project, Bristol previously secured $1.5 million from a federal Fish and Wildlife grant, $1 million from the county, $250,000 from the Grundy Foundation and private donations in addition to the state grant.

DiGuiseppe publicly thanked the local representatives who helped with the funding, and several of them spoke in support of the project.

“I want to be part of that moment, part of the dream that the people of Bristol have had,” Congressman Fitzpatrick said. “People coming off the river to dock in your town, to walk up your street to get in your restaurants or your theater, to see the beautiful community, history and culture that only exists in Bristol.”

According to township engineer Kurt Schroeder, there will be a walkway leading from the wharf that will take people to a fixed access pier about four feet above ground level. The pier is projected to be about 25 feet wide and 80 feet long. Fishing will be allowed from the pier.

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Matt Schickling / Wire photo – During the check presentation, a boat anchored on the Delaware River near the wharf, with a sign reading, “This time next year, I will be docked!”

There will be two platforms leading to two concrete floating docks.

“The concrete is significant. Anybody who knows this river knows how much of a beast it can be, especially in the winter time,” Schroeder said.

The docks will be out there year round, sitting at a constant 22 inches above the water level. As the tide goes up and down, the docks will go with it.

Each dock is going to be about 250 feet long, accommodating boats on each side of them. That allows them to hold about 25 boats that are around 26 feet in length.

“We’re working through the details of this project hoping to get the project started this year and hopefully it be completed well before this time next year,” Schroeder added.

DiGuiseppe reaffirmed this timeline. He said major construction will likely begin in November, with work continuing through the winter if weather permits.

He placed the projected completion toward the end of April, with all construction to be done by union workers.

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