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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release: March 25, 2008
Contact: Gail Mastrati 222-4700 ext. 2402
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418


PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management today began reconstruction of the working pier, located at the southwest corner of the state's Pier 9 in Newport, renamed the Louis Jacshitz Pier after the late long-time Newport fisherman. The entire structural portion of the heavy duty working pier, a 195-foot by 18-foot well-used area that is in a state of disrepair, will be replaced with new timber, from piles to decking.

The working pier is heavily used for loading and unloading by most of the 50 or so commercial fishing boats, both inshore lobster boats and offshore draggers that call Pier 9 home. Those vessels have been relocated to other facilities during the reconstruction period, which is expected to take two to three months.

"Rhode Island's commercial fishermen, who contribute so much to the state's character and economy, deserve the best facilities that we can offer them," says DEM Director, W. Michael Sullivan. "Their work is difficult enough without them having to load and unload in unacceptable conditions." Commercial landings of all species in Rhode Island totaled $98.5 million in 2006, according to National Marine Fisheries Services statistics.

The Pier 9 bulkhead itself was reconstructed over a two-year period beginning in the year 2000 and provides a dedicated facility in Newport to assist the continued viability of the state's fishing fleet. Both the earlier replacement of the bulkhead, and the current replacement of the working pier, were championed by Sen. Teresa Paiva-Weed and the late Rep. Paul Crowley of Newport, known for their commitment to the fishing industry.

The working pier project was designed by Pare Corporation of Lincoln, under the oversight of DEM's Division of Planning and Development. Reagan Construction Corporation of Middletown is the construction contractor. Funding for the $549,000 project is from the Rhode Island Capital fund.


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