Wall collapse delays Prudence Ferry dock repairs

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A partial collapse of the southern side of the Prudence Island Ferry dock has caused a delay in the project, pushing construction back as much as a week.

A&R Marine announced the delay in the project on its website late last week. A portion of the south rock wall collapsed, according to Bristol Harbormaster Gregg Marsilli, forcing workers to install new steel sheeting to replace it. He expects the delay to be “for a couple of days,” a week at most, he said.

The $177,000 project — the cost of which is divided among Bristol, Portsmouth and ferry operator A&R Marine — includes installation of a new, higher-capacity ramp and gallows which would reduce the need for higher-cost alternatives and ensure safe, continued service for Prudence residents.

The project, which began in late April, was expected to last six weeks, Mr. Marsili said, during which time there are disruptions to travelers and Prudence Island residents. While the ramp is being constructed, cars cannot access the ferry, leaving A&R to offer walk-on service only. Trash trucks, oil tankers and delivery trucks are still able to access A&R’s landing craft to maintain services on the island, Mr. Marsili has said.

Parking in Bristol has been disrupted during the project, as the ferry lot is closed. The town has leased space in the the lot across Thames Street from the Robin Rug factory, and passengers can find parking on surrounding streets or in municipal lots. The Bristol ticket office has been relocated to the Maritime Center on Thames Street during construction. Anyone needing wheelchair accessibility for the ferry is asked to call the Prudence Office at 401-683-0430 at least 24 hours in advance.

A&R Marine is also offering rides home to Prudence Island residents, the company announced join its website. Anyone needing a ride can call the Prudence Ferry Office.

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