Dismantling Harper Pier under way by crews

A section of the old Harper Pier is lifted up during dismantling and removal of the structure on Feb. 13. - Dannie Oliveaux/Staff Photo
A section of the old Harper Pier is lifted up during dismantling and removal of the structure on Feb. 13.
— image credit: Dannie Oliveaux/Staff Photo

Work is under way this week for removal of the Old Harper Pier, located in Yukon Harbor near Colby.

The contractor, Pacific Pile and Marine of Seattle, started placing an oil-spill containment boom around the site last week and dismantling of the decking begins this week.

Toni Droscher, Aquatics Program communications manager, said the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Port of Bremerton are working together on the project, which includes removing the decking and creosote-treated pilings.

Droscher said all in-water work must be completed by Feb. 28 — the end of the “work window,” — to avoid harm to juvenile salmon feeding and migration area. The project is scheduled for completion March 15.

The old pier — a legacy from the old Mosquito Fleet ferry days — is a popular recreation access site for the local community for decades. The pier, which closed Nov. 1, was a longtime staple for crabbers, divers, fishers and walkers.

“The pier is deteriorating and poses a risk to public safety and the health of the marine environment,” Droscher said. “Toxic chemicals from the old creosote-treated pilings continue to leach pollutants.”

She said as part of an effort to restore Puget Sound, DNR is working to remove old structures and pilings from around the area.

Droscher said the removal and disposal of the pier will include 128 creosote-treated pilings, 7,500 square feet of “overwater structure” (pier decking, stringers, pile caps, cross beams, etc.) and 15 tons of subtidal piling stubs and remnant, detached pilings on the seafloor, which will removed with the aid of a dive team.

The pilings will be removed using a vibratory hammer which loosens the sediments around the piling allowing for the piling to be removed with less disturbance than other methods, such as direct pulling by a crane. Pilings not able to be removed by the equipments will be cut 1-2 feet below the mud line by divers.

Estimated cost to remove and dispose of the pier is $226,000 which is from the 2013 Job Act Now, requested by the Port.

The Port, which received $400,000 in DNR funds for removal, can use the remaining money to complete design of a new pier.

Last month, Port Executive Director Tim Thomson presented a 35 percent design drawing of a replacement for the old pier. The design includes a 320-foot-long catwalk to a 15-foot-wide by 60-foot-ling pier. The gangway would double back and drop down to a 10-foot-wide by 20-foot-long float for boats to tie up. The design, which is slightly longer than the old structure, is subject to change.

A local group, Friends of Harper Pier, is exploring in seeking a non-profit sponsor that would allow the group them to apply for private grants and solicit donations.


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