FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — DEC 28, 2011 –
By Steve Marschke, News-Ledger Editor
The City of West Sacramento has hired a contractor to dismantle the old dock at Raley’s Landing – formerly home to the Elizabeth Louise paddlewheeler and to the now-defunct River Otter Taxi Service. The dock has been disused for several years, and has been deemed a safety hazard.
West Sacramento officials hope to replace the dock with one that will become a “public asset.” In that role, it may aid in the city’s transportation plan by providing a landing for a future Sacramento River ferry service and could be used by fishermen and sightseers, said City Councilman Mark Johannessen.
“I don’t know if we’ve seen the design yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some type of public access,” Johannessen told the News-Ledger.
The dock is located along the River Walk Parkway, just north of the Tower Bridge and behind the “ziggurat” building that now houses state offices. The replacement dock will probably be built in 2013, said a statement on the city’s website.
“Raley’s has been working with the City of West Sacramento to make the waterfront more accessible to the public and expand the River Walk amenities,” said Ashley Zepernick, a Raley’s corporate spokesperson, in the city’s statement. “In doing so, Raley’s has agreed to allow the City of West Sacramento to take control of the Raley’s Landing dock on the Sacramento River and allow it to be replaced by a new public facility that will be built by the City of West Sacramento.”
A state agency has ordered the old floating dock removed, fearing it could break up and float away, causing a river hazard. Work was already underway when a News-Ledger reporter visited this week.
The City has applied to the State Lands Commission for a new dock lease.
Nearby on the river, West Sacramento has been trying to attract financing to build a publicly-owned hotel with banquet and conference facilities. The dock was seen as a complementary amenity for the planned hotel, which Marriott had negotiated to manage. But financing has fallen through.
“The hotel project is still percolating – it’s not dead,” Johannessen told the News-Ledger. “I don’t think (the dock and hotel) are dependant on each other. As far as I know, the dock is going to be a public amenity on the river regardless of whether the hotel goes through or not.”
“This is one more step toward the City’s vision of making the riverfront an accessible and active destination for the public,” said Mayor Christopher Cabaldon in the City’s public statement.
Demolition work is being done by PBM Construction.
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