NORTH TONAWANDA – The city-owned Gratwick-Riverside Park Marina at the southern tip of the main park has been undergoing a $3 million makeover over the past five years, which has transformed the marina into a welcoming spot for both boaters and visitors along the Niagara River.
But even with all the work done thus far, there is still only docking for 26 boats. The final phase will expand the marina to accommodate a total of 100 boats, as well as offer 45 jet ski docks.
“This finishes it,” said City Engineer Dale W. Marshall of the city’s ambitious project. “It’s going to complete the project so there is really nothing left for us to do.”
The site was once abandoned and dilapidated, but the Marina Project has restored the former Niagara River Yacht Club into a seasonal restaurant, Lumberjack’s Patio Grill; dredged and cleaned up the marina; repaired and restored walkways and lighting; and put in new docks.
The bid for the final phase VI has been approved by the Common Council and a contract for $867,122 was awarded to Pinto Construction Services of Buffalo to complete the final docking, landscaping and lighting.
Marshall said Phase I began in 2012 and since then the city has spent a combination of mostly Niagara River Greenway funds and federal funds. The city spent about $300,000 in these first five phases.
He said in order to finally complete the project the city bonded $1 million last year, but he was pleased to see that most of the bids came in under budget, including the one adopted Tuesday.
Marshall said “finger docks,” which are smaller docks that branch out from the main peninsula docks, will be utilized to allow for more boats to use the marina and there will be a combination of permanent and transient slips.
“All of the peninsulas will have finger docks,” he said, “and one peninsula will have floating jet ski docks,” which includes some permanent docks for jet skis.
The project also will complete lighting and landscaping from the marina to the lighthouse, where there will be picnic tables with umbrellas and Adirondack chairs.
“It’s really not Lumberjack’s Bar and Grill,” Marshall said of the marina. “It’s North Tonawanda’s Gratwick Riverside Park Marina. It’s a public park and a marina and the public has the right to be there, too.”