Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

Project will also complete a portion of the Coastal Trail

While there is no doubt that Crescent City's port is very much a working harbor, projects to make the area more tourist-friendly will soon break ground - something harbor leaders intended before tsunami damage took the bulk of their attention for several years.

On Tuesday, the Crescent City Harbor Commission awarded a $1,263,168 contract to Hemmingsen Construction to complete the harbor's section of the California Coastal Trail and to build a promenade around the inner boat basin that will include viewing platforms, weather shelters, and interpretive signage.

"The promenade is going to be one of the final touches for making the harbor visitor-friendly," said Ron Phillips, president of the Harbor Commission.

The improvements are part of a larger project that includes a building in the north part of the inner boat basin with an enclosed fish cleaning station, laundromat, and a bathroom with hot showers for transient fishermen.

Since Hemmingsen Construction's bid was more than $600,000 under the engineer's$1.8 million estimate for the project, the harbor district anticipates being able to have some aesthetic flexibility.

Hemmingsen Construction's bid was $25,000 less than the next highest bid.

"We're pleased that the bids came in a lot lower than the estimate," said Richard Young, harbormaster/CEO for the harbor district. "We'll be able to finish the project up in style and do a very nice job."

The anticipated extra cash is a welcome change for the harbor district, which had to scale back on the north restroom and inner boat basin sidewalks and railings after estimates that matched the artist's designs produced bids much higher than anticipated.

"This way it will be a better project for the whole community," Young said.

The majority of the Coastal Trail, promenade, fish cleaning station and bathroom project is being funded by the California Coastal Conservacy.

The Conservancy, which is primarily funded by state general obligation bonds approved by California voters, has spent $1.5 billion since 1976 on more than 1,800 projects aimed to purchase, protect, restore, and enhance coastal resources, and to provide access to the shore.

The Conservancy's other projects in Del Norte County include the Crescent City B Street wharf, Battery Point Lighthouse restoration, waterfront planning and a visitor destination study, development of the Crescent City Harbor District Harbor Master Plan and the city's section of the Coastal Trail over Elk Creek.

Reach Adam Spencer at