Dismantling comes first at harbor

Written by Adam Spencer, The Triplicate August 28, 2012 05:46 pm

The progress is becoming more visible

Progress on the reconstruction  of Crescent City Harbor’s inner boat basin is becoming more visible every day as crews dismantle D dock and excavate seawalls for replacement.

Vessels previously moored to D dock have been relocated, and almost all of D dock’s floats and pilings have been removed using a barge-mounted crane to hoist the pilings out of the basin bottom.

About a third of the northwestern inner boat basin seawall has been excavated in order to install new rock slope protection made of “rip rap,” large rocks placed on soil to prevent erosion.

“Things are starting to move,” said CEO/harbormaster Richard Young during last week’s meeting of the Crescent City Harbor Commission.

Young gave commissioners an update on the project, including the status of the alternative pile driving method proposed by Dutra Group, the company awarded the inner boat basin reconstruction project.

The method outlined for the pilings and docks in the harbor engineers’ design was to drill a 48-inch diameter hole,  locate the 30-inch piling precisely in the hole, cement the piling in place, and then build the floating cement docks to the pilings, Young wrote in a recent Coastal Voices piece to the Triplicate.

Dutra proposed a different method: building the docks in the water, dropping a piling through the pile hoop on the dock, and  drilling a 30-inch hole (from the inside  of the piling) that pulls the piling into the hole during drilling, Young said.

After reviewing more of the evidence presented by Dutra testifying to the viability of the alternative method, Ward Stover the harbor’s lead engineer, is “much more optimistic about the alternative pile driving method,” Young said at the meeting.

“I think there is a enough consent among all of us here that we’re a little disappointed that it’s taking so long to get this resolved,” said Harbor Commission President Ron Phillips at the meeting.

On Monday, Young said the harbor’s engineering team was very close to a resolution on the issue.

The Harbor Commission will ultimately vote on whether or not to approve the alternative pile driving method, and no pile driving will be done before the commission’s next meeting Sept. 4.

Many of the crucial materials have been delivered to the harbor  and are awaiting installation, including high-density polyethylene sleeves, which will surround the concrete and steel pilings to prevent corrosion, and almost 50 of the domestically produced pilings. 

The remaining pilings, roughly 200 produced in China, have arrived at the Port of Vancouver, Wash., and as of Monday were en route to Portland, where they will be transferred to smaller trucks that can be driven on U.S. Highway 101, according to Commissioner Wes White.

Bellingham Marine has been  casting finger floats and will soon start casting main floats.

The harbor district will hold a special meeting today at noon at the Harbor District Office regarding rewording a harbor resolution necessary to secure a loan from Rural Community Assistance Corporation, which is providing bridge funding so the harbor can pay its bills while waiting for delayed reimbursements from California Emergency Management Agency.

The meeting is expected to include a brief update on the status of the inner boat basin reconstruction project.

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