On Monday, May 11, Gulfport resident Kerry Burke took photos of eroded Gulfport Casino dock pilings, some showing large gaps, and posted them to Facebook and shared them to the “Gulfport, Florida” page with the caption, “This doesn’t seem very safe.”
Many of the responses on Burke’s Facebook post shared Burke’s concern for the structural safety of the dock.
By Tuesday, Harbormaster Denis Frain responded to an email Burke sent to the Gulfport City Manager Jim O’Reilly.
Frain assured Burke that a contractor had been retained in March of this year, but due to the COVID-19 shutdown the materials had been on backorder.
“I have inspected the dock as requested by the City Manager,” Frain wrote in his email. “The dock is safe for normal traffic. Marina staff will make weekly Casino dock inspection prior to the contractor replacing the pilings.”
By Friday, May 15, barricades were in place and repairs were started.
In an email response to the Gabber dated May 15, Frain wrote:
“The repair is being conducted now, it was scheduled for early April but was delayed. The dock walkway piles have been infested by worms and will be replaced with PVC wrapped Piles to prevent this from happening again. The dock will be interrupted today and possibly Monday the 18, but will be open over the weekend. The dock was surveyed early this year and this is just the first of many pilings that have been damaged by the worms. It was decided to repair the severe damage piles first. Major repairs will be conducted later this year. At that time I expect the dock to be closed for 7-10 days.”
Burke and other Gulfport residents are relieved that the repairs are being made, but still question the safety of the dock.
“My ongoing concern is that there are no railings once you get out there and there’s a very high drop and it seems dangerous,” wrote Burke in a Facebook message to Gabber staff. “That seems like something that needs to be addressed.”
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