Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration

Project Description

The Turning Basin Dredging & Dock Restoration is a 3-phase project designed to improve river access for our community, improve access and docking amenities for visiting boaters, and increase safety via a new fire suppression system. Read below for details on each phase of the project. Next up is the final phase of the project, Phase 3 - Turning Basin Dock Restoration. Work is expected to be complete in summer 2024.

Phase 3 - Turning Basin Dock Restoration - Summer 2024

The aging docks within the Turning Basin were removed in 2022 during Phase 1 of the project to allow for dredging. This necessary removal has given us an opportunity to replace the aging docks with new ones that will provide:

  • Increased river access for our community
  • Pedestrian access between River Plaza and Weller Street
  • A public launch area for small craft, such as kayaks and paddleboards
  • Docking space for visiting boaters
  • Access to potable water and power
  • Increased safety via a new fire suppression system

While we had hoped for the new docks to be installed in December 2023, during our initial site testing in early November, we found the bedrock to be much shallower than required to support the new dock piles (the posts that hold the dock in place). Due to an environmental permit window which prevents work from taking place after November 30, we will be postponing the project until summer 2024, at which time the window will reopen and allow us to safely install the new files at the necessary depth.

Until the new docks are installed, Petalumans will still have access to the Floathouse Boat Rental Center and a small, structurally sound portion of the original dock via the gangway leading down from the River Plaza Shopping Center on E. Washington.


Phase 2 - Marina Fueling and Public Safety Access Dredging
October through November 2022 - Complete!

During pre-construction planning for the Turning Basin project, the City identified the opportunity to complete a small dredging project aimed at improving public safety and fueling access at the Marina. Approximately 1,700 cubic yards of dredged material were removed, with the following benefits:

  • Restored navigable access to the Marina fueling station for all boaters
  • Provided sufficient depth for police and fire vessels to access their docks and keep the response vessels in the water for increased response time capability.

Click HERE to view the staff report for this project.

Phase 1 - Turning Basin Dredging
October 2022 - Complete!

This part of the project included:

  • Dredging of select areas in the Turning Basin that were not dredged by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 2020
  • Removal and reinstallation of the Petaluma Small Craft Center dock and gangway
  • Removal and reinstallation of the City Dock on the West side of the Turning Basin
  • Removal of the City Dock on the East Side of the Turning Basin (this dock will be replaced in 2023)

This project has improved navigable access to the Turning Basin for large boats, as was evident at the 2022 Lighted Boat Parade. The work also supported the efforts of the Petaluma Small Craft Center (PSCC). Now PSCC's boat rental center, The Floathouse, can operate safely at any tide, providing year-round river access to all.

The City plans to replace the dock on the east side of the Turning Basin in Fall 2023. The dock replacement project will involve installing new pilings as well as a new dock.

Click HERE to read the Staff Report on this project.

Future Dredging Projects

The City is working to secure funding and obtain permits for a more comprehensive dredging project at the Marina. This future Marina dredging project will recover the full operational water depth at the Marina for boating safety, navigation, and Marina operations, which will facilitate higher tenant occupancy and capacity.

In addition, the City is setting aside money for new and maintenance dredging projects along the Petaluma River, including under the City docks located on the Southwest side of the Turning Basin.

Project Manager

Lucas Pereira, [email protected]


Project Location

Turning Basin on the Petaluma river between the back of the River Plaza shopping center and Weller Street.



New docks are currently being constructed. Construction is expected to last from October 2023 - January 2024.





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