Plans Being Looked at to Replace Aging Woods Hole Dock

FALMOUTH- Plans are in the works to replace the aging 37,100 square foot Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution dock in Falmouth.

“We are in our 49th year of a 50 year design. The key reasoning behind this replacement project is the increasing cost for maintenance,” said Rob Munier, WHOI VP of Marine Facilities and Operations.

Current maintenance costs for the ‘Iselin Dock’ built in 1969 total around $1 million dollars each year. That’s starting to become expensive for the organization, which has recently explored ways to spend the $75 to $100 million dollars to replace the structure in full.

“We established a dock advisory group and from that we got advice from all of the departments, and all of that stakeholders that use the dock,” said Munier.

Recent reports indicate that if engineers decided to simply upgrade the existing structure, the price tag WHOI would have to pay would hit approximately $28 million.

There are also talks that would take into consideration extending the dock and additional 53 percent to 56,700 square feet. This increases the dock replacement cost to around $37 million.

At this time, it is unclear where WHOI will get the full funding to begin this process. In the past, the research giant has debated applying for a $500,000 Seaport Economic Council grant to help fund the feasibility study for the project.

Officials say that if the decision to replace the structure was made, workers would not start construction until 2021 or 2022.

By JOHN BONDAREK, CapeCod.Com News Center

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