FORKS, Wash. - Over the weekend, workers will likely begin staging equipment and dismantling the dock that came ashore on the Olympic peninsula this past December. The dock was washed out to sea during the March 2011 tsunami in Japan.
The Undersea Company of Port Townsend, Wash., is working with Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary and Olympic National Park, as well as local partners in Washington, to dismantle the dock on site. Smaller sections of the dock will then be airlifted to an upland landing zone that is located on private land, and then they will be trucked offsite for disposal. This was determined to be the safest and most efficient method for removal in light of concern that the dock is no longer seaworthy.
As a reminder, to protect contractor and visitor safety while the salvage work is underway, the coastal area of Olympic National Park between Goodman Creek and Jefferson Cove is closed to all public entry. In addition, Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary regulations prohibit aircraft from disturbing wildlife by flying below 2,000 feet within one nautical mile of the coast or the offshore islands.
How will the dock be removed?
Using helicopters, workers will bring equipment to dock’s location on the beach to begin work. Equipment will include a mini excavator, generator, pumps, hand tools and concrete sawing equipment, as well as survival equipment for safety precautions.
Due to winter weather and sea conditions, sand and cobble has surrounded and partially covered the dock. Once the dock is exposed, workers will cut up sections of the dock that can be airlifted out.
The contractor will take care to keep the foam as intact as possible, while disassembling the dock. As the foam is exposed, it will be immediately contained and removed by helicopter. Because of the potential environmental hazards and buoyancy, the foam’s removal from the worksite will take priority.
Work is planned to take place during daylight hours during the next several days depending on safety conditions, weather and tides.
For more updates, please check back at http://marinedebris.wa.gov/incidents/ForksDock.html.