PA graving yard groundbreaking set Wednesday


Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES -- Marked by a ground-breaking ceremony, the North Olympic Peninsula on Wednesday officially becomes the new home of the state Department of Transportation's multimillion-dollar graving yard.

In it, a state-hired contractor will build replacement components for the east half of the Hood Canal Bridge, the longest saltwater floating bridge in the world at 7,869 feet, including a 600-foot center draw span opening.

Pontoons of up to 8,300 tons and 340 feet long, and anchors weighing up to 1,875 tons, will be built at the graving yard.

The graving yard will take about six months to build, with bridge components completed in it in 2006.

The ground-breaking ceremony is set for 10 a.m. Wednesday at the site on 25.6 industrial waterfront acres at Marine Drive between Hill Street and the Daishowa America Ltd. paper mill.

People attending the event will be directed to park at the site north of Marine Drive, a state official said.

At 11:10 a.m., ``the first shovelful'' is scheduled to be ceremoniously taken at the site.

Less than a week later, the contractor will begin removing an estimated 183,000 cubic yards of soil -- equal to about 9,000 dump truck loads -- to dig the massive lock.

The graving yard will be sealed with 100-foot-wide gate that will be opened to flood the lock. The water level will rise to float 17 pontoons built in dry dock.

Once floating, the pontoons will then be towed out to the harbor and east to the bridge site for installation.



Final plan for graving yard soil due out Thursday


Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES -- The plan for disposing of more than 180,000 cubic yards of soil excavated from the graving yard site on West Marine Drive should be ready by Thursday.

None of the soil can be moved until a completed plan is approved, Lloyd Brown, Department of Transportation spokesman, said Friday.

Clallam County Director of Environmental Health and Environmental Quality Andy Brastad said Friday the county won't dictate where the soil goes.

Brastad said the preference is to bring the soil to the Fields Shotwell recycling facility in Eclipse Industrial Park, two miles west of the truck route off U.S. Highway 101.

Environmental testing done at the graving yard site in May revealed trace amounts of contaminants in some of the soil, Brastad said. The department of transportation has at least two options for that soil, he said.



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