The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is blaming weather events, especially a “significant” storm in late February, for bolt failures and sheet pile damage at the West Barrier Bar Pier in the village of Fair Haven.
The Army Corps of Engineers followed its initial damage assessment in mid-March with a site visit two weeks ago to inspect the pier. A technical team from the agency, with the help of the Coast Guard, examined the damage from the water.
Lex Barker, project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers, said in an interview with The Citizen that the damage was caused by bolt failures. The bolts that failed were from the last repairs made to the pier in the late 1970s.
While weather contributed to the damage, the bolts failed after a winter storm in late February.
“Those bolts were damaged heavily and that led to the steel sheet pile coming unraveled,” Barker explained.
The section of damaged sheet pile along the pier juts out about 10 feet. It shouldn’t affect marine traffic in and out of the channel. Barker said the Coast Guard is aware of the situation and will send a notice to mariners urging them to avoid the sheet pile.
A temporary barrier has been set up to block access to a portion of the pier. Not only were there bolt failures that led to sheet pile separating from the pier, but there is concrete damage.