Crews this week began dismantling the dilapidated pier at the old state Department of Natural Resources marine station at Gull Harbor in Budd Inlet.
Some 400 tons of wood debris, including more than 230 creosote-soaked pilings, are slated for removal and disposal at a hazardous waste landfill in Oregon, DNR restoration land manager Monica Shoemaker said.
It’s the latest in a series of restoration projects on the four-acre shoreline property that one day could lead to beach access for the public and continued use of the site for storage of marine vessels and equipment by multiple state and local government agencies.
But much work remains before the long-range plan is fulfilled, said Blain Reeves, assistant manager of the DNR aquatic resources division.
After the aging wharf is removed, DNR will start testing for contaminants in the sediments around the dock where more than 100 mothballed Navy vessels – from warships to patrol boats – were moored from 1946 to 1972.
“Right now the focus is on environmental cleanup and restoring the ecological functions along the shoreline,” Reeves said.
The $180,000 dock removal project is funded from a $1.1 million account DNR has in its 2009-11 capital budget. Some of those funds will be needed to continue cleanup and monitoring of oil contamination from a heating fuel tank that was underneath an old administration building that was next to the dock before being dismantled 10 years ago.
DNR purchased the dock, buildings and upland property north of Olympia from the federal government in 1979 for $490,000. The state agency uses the site to house marine vessels and equipment used by its geoduck program.
Redside Construction of Port Gamble began dismantling the dock Monday and is expected to wrap up work by mid-March.
The contractor will use a vibrating hammer to remove the cresote pilings, and other equipment to take apart 10,000 square feet of overwater structure. Divers will aid in the removal of tires, metal and other debris under and adjacent to the dock.
The work will be noisy at times and neighbors can also expect increased traffic on 47th Avenue Northeast from container trucks hauling away the debris.
The marine work site is surrounded by construction and oil containment booms to corral debris and absorb oil from the dislodged pilings.
John Dodge: 360-754-5444 firstname.lastname@example.org