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City Officials Celebrate Opening of Newport Harbor’s Newest and Largest Public Dock

Assemblymember Diane Dixon, Council Member Lauren Kleiman, Supervisor Katrina Foley, Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton, Mayor Will O’Neill, Council Member Robyn Grant, Council Member Erik Weigand at the opening of the new public dock. Photo by Chris Trela.

Officials from the City of Newport Beach, the County of Orange, the Irvine Company and State Assembly celebrated the grand opening of Newport Harbor’s largest public dock on Friday, March 29.

Following a ceremonial ribbon cutting, the Balboa Marina Public Pier was officially opened for public use. The new pier can accommodate up to 12 small vessels or several larger vessels. It is free for day use by the public for up to three hours.

The dock is located at 151 E. Coast Highway, on the site of the old Reuben E. Lee restaurant/steamship.

The pier greatly expands public access and recreational opportunities in a previously underserved area of the harbor. The project is a partnership between the City, County and Irvine Company.

“We are really excited—this has been a long time coming. We know this will not only increase the opportunities people have to access the harbor but also open up a new gateway to our city,” said Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill, who arrived at the event via a boat that dropped him off at the new dock. “We have the largest recreational harbor west of the Mississippi. This new dock will allow more folks to come here, enjoy themselves, and eat and shop local.”

Mayor Will O’Neill at the dedication of the new public dock. Photo by Chris Trela.

According to information from the City of Newport Beach, the City will own, maintain and operate the pier. The pier is ADA compliant and includes the opportunity to use the “human lift” device already in use at Marina Park.

Part of the dock is located on tidelands property controlled by the County of Orange. The County Board of Supervisors granted the City long-term access in 2022 with a 45-year, no-cost lease.

“After voting to approve much-needed improvements to the Balboa Marina on County tidelands in 2022, I am happy to see the vision for the Pier completed,” said Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley, Fifth District.

The new pier was constructed and financed by the Irvine Company as part of an agreement with the California Coastal Commission that allows for expansion of an adjacent private marina.

New public dock in Newport Beach. Photo by Chris Trela

According to information provided by the city of Newport Beach, discussions of a public pier date back to 2011, when the Irvine Company initiated a new phase of its marina expansion project. A public-private partnership was formed, in which the City agreed to pay the entitlement costs and the Irvine Company agreed to construct the dock.

Newport Beach Harbor Commissioner Chairman Steve Scully noted that a 2013 study by the Commission identified this location as one of the harbor areas where a public pier was most needed. It was No. 2 after Central Avenue (where a new pier was built in 2016).

“There’s nothing like Newport Harbor in the western United States, if not the country,” noted Scully. “We have such an incredible history of saltwater recreation. Through significant improvements like this new public dock, our city continues to build opportunities for more access to our harbor and for everyone to enjoy this crown jewel which we call Newport Harbor.”

New public dock in Newport Beach. Photo by Chris Trela

The post City Officials Celebrate Opening of Newport Harbor’s Newest and Largest Public Dock appeared first on Newport Beach News.


Source: Newport Beach Independent

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