Graving dock shutdown costing thousands per day

Peninsula News Network


Port Angeles, WA - Department of Transportation officials are trying to figure out how much delays in the excavation of the Port Angeles graving dock are going to cost the state, and even whether those costs still make PA the site for the project.

One thing they already know. The shutdown is already costing DOT $30,000 per day.

DOT’s plans to use the Port Angeles location to build the concrete pontoons and anchors for the new Hood Canal Bridge have been thrown in a tailspin by the discovery of Native American remains at the Marine Drive property. Those remains and artifacts resulted in a “stop work” order early last week, The order will remain in effect until the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe and the state can come up with a new plan that would protect those ancestral remains, and yet still allow the excavation for the dock.

DOT Communications Director Linda Mullen tells PNN that “teams of people” are still trying to analyze how the shutdown is effecting the overall bridge replacement project. She says that’s not only the added cost to the project, but also the schedule for rebuilding the bridge, a detailed timeline that is laid out over a three year period. Mullen says one of the immediate problems is how the shutdown is going to effect the various permits DOT is using for the project, and the environmental deadlines for working along the shoreline.

As to whether the graving dock can still be built in Port Angeles, Mullen says “everything is on the table”, and that includes the question of keeping the project in PA or moving it elsewhere. She explained to me that DOT is working to get all of the information together so various scenarios can be completely analyzed.

She says the state hopes to have that analysis completed next week “at the soonest”.

Meanwhile, the state is also working on a new site plan for meeting the tribe’s concerns about proceeding with work on the dock excavation. As we told yesterday, tribal and state officials met for 6 hours Wednesday to discuss the issues involved and plan to get together again next week.


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