Two Weeks Left to View Oregon Coast Tsunami Dock
(Newport, Oregon) – The dock cut loose from the Japanese city of Misawa in last year's tsunami has been a monster of a curiosity and attraction on the central Oregon coast since it washed up onshore in Newport on June 5, sometimes bringing over ten thousand visitors a weekend. Starting July 31, a Vancouver company will begin dismantling the structure with a tragic origin and state officials are warning that will create some considerable road backups in the area. (Above: the tsunami dock at night)
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) said the Agate Beach tsunami dock will be taken apart by Ballard Diving and Salvage and the work is expected to take three to seven days.
The tsunami dock before it was scoured of invasive species (courtesy OPRD)
“The beach will remain open to the public during the work, except for a closed safety zone around the dock demolition site,” OPRD said in a press release.
The derelict dock is 66 feet long, 19 feet wide, 7 feet tall, and is believed to weigh 130-165 tons. Ballard's salvage experts plan to cut the dock into several large pieces, load them on a heavy-haul truck at the main Agate Beach access road, and transport them to a Portland-area facility for final demolition and recycling.
Cleaning the dock (photo Terry Morse)
A team of biologists will inspect the pieces further for evidence of invasive species, which were found in alarming abundance on the dock in the first two days after its arrival. OPRD said the bottom – which has not been accessible so far – may contain more.
The work site will be patrolled by security 24 hours a day, and parts of the beach may become temporarily closed as portions of the dock are transported to the road, about a half mile south of the dock.
Residents and visitors can expect congestion in and around the Agate Beach State Park, Highway 101 and NW Oceanview Drive during the project. The main Agate Beach parking lot will be open, but the smaller, roadside parking area that's closer to the dock and to Yaquina Head will be closed for the duration of the work starting Monday, July 30.
Ballard was awarded a contract for $84,155 to complete the work.
If you spot larger tsunami debris on the Oregon coast that can't be moved or any large container that could be dangerous you are urged to call 211. Those interested in volunteering for beach cleanups or patrolling the beaches for debris can do so at this link. A list of upcoming beach cleanups (and other events) is online at http://solv.org/get-involved/volunteer-event
Invasive species found on the tsunami dock (photo Terry Morse)
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