Long-planned upgrading of the parking lot at Hammond Marina in Warrenton began in April.

The $55,496 project calls for graveling a two-acre grassy field that long has been used for marina parking. The new lot will provide 40-foot-long parking slips with wheel stops for more than 100 vehicles. The longer slips will accommodate pickup trucks hauling boat trailers. The work is expected to be completed by the end of June.

North Pacific Excavation of Warrenton is the project's contractor. The firm was the lowest among 10 bidders.

"Most of the bids were in the $65,000 to $72,000 range," said Warrenton City Manager Robert Maxfield.

Maxfield said the project is being funded by the Oregon State Marine Board, which set aside up to $170,000 for the work.

Since there is nearly $120,000 left unused for the current project, Maxfield said the city likely will ask the Marine Board to set aside the remaining funds to asphalt and add storm drainage to the parking area.

The Hammond Marina is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers but is operated by the city of Warrenton under a long-term lease. Efforts are currently underway by the city of Warrenton to acquire the marina.

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