By Tom Shevlin
NEWPORT – The Aquidneck Lobster Company is seeking permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to install a series of floating docks alongside the northern wall of its Bowen's Wharf facility.
In a press release issued Tuesday, April 24, the Army Corps noted that the proposal is designed to help support the Lobster Company's existing commercial fishing activities.
Currently undergoing some rather dramatic renovations aimed at bolstering the downtown fixture's financial viability, the proposal calls for installing a network of floating docks to serve the roughly 10-20 transitory vessels that unload their morning's catch.
Located at the tip of Bowen's Wharf, the Lobster Company occupies a prominent and heavily trafficked portion of the city's downtown waterfront.
And while dockage for recreational and tourist vessels abound in the waters around Lobster Company, dockage for commercial operators is sparse.
According to the application, there are currently no floats on the north side of the building, forcing incoming vessels to tie off to the fixed pier on the outside of the building, oftentimes rafted up two deep.
The proposed work calls for installing a 5-foot by 140-foot line of floats extending east-west, an 8-foot by 36-foot line extending north-south on the west side of The Landing restaurant, and a 4-foot by 87-foot line running along the northern edge of restaurant in the inshore waters.
Access to the docks will be available via a single 3-foot by 24-foot ramp.
If approved, the project will not require any dredging, bottom disturbance, or fill.
Anyone wishing to comment on the project may do so in writing by May 24 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Michael Elliot), 696 Virginia Rd., Concord, MA, 01742-2751.