Gig Harbor celebrated a long-awaited milestone on Monday as city officials, state legislators and local residents gathered at the Maritime Pier for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The reception marked the competition of the pier, which was one of the top projects that the City had planned in the past decade.
In 2000, then-councilman Jim Franich asked the City to make the Maritime Pier a priority, according to Gig Harbor Mayor Chuck Hunter.
“In 2010, we had an opportunity buy this property,” Hunter said.
That combined with the existing parcel, already owned by the City, they built the pier along with 32 parking spaces and a restroom facility.
The pier, located next to the Tides Tavern, is a 156-foot dock with a ramp and a 40-foot float.
It would provide loading and unloading access for the town’s commercial fishing fleet and provide transient moorage for recreational boaters.
“It relieves some of the pressure off of Jerisich Dock,” Hunter said.
In addition, he hopes the new pier and parking will help draw more people to downtown Gig Harbor.
“It’s a piece in the puzzle that we can now get fishing boats to come up here. We can even get tour boats and water taxis. Visitors can moor their boat and go up to town and gives more access to downtown,” he said. “It will service not only the fishing industry but the community itself.”
The City of Gig Harbor, based on budget numbers, contributed $1.6 million dollars to the project. An additional $378,000 in state funding was appropriated for the pier thanks to efforts from local state legislators Sen. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor), Rep. Larry Seaquist (D-Gig Harbor) and Rep. Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard).
The Gig Harbor Commercial Fishing Club also donated additional funds of $50,000 for construction costs.
City officials said the pier will be opened to the public once the final details are completed, which is expected to take a few weeks.