Port of Olympia Starts Dredging Projects

Crews with Tacoma, Washington-based Orion Marine began dredging at the Port of Olympia last week, a project that is expected to deepen and improve access to the port’s marine terminal and the Swantown Marina area, where boats are lifted out of the water for repairs. The project plans for removal of 40,000 cubic yards of sediment from two port sites, with most coming from the marine terminal berth area.

The dredging is needed at both port sites, because they are not deep enough, particularly along the marine terminal where ships can’t dock directly at the pier. A device called a camel is used to keep ships 5 feet away from the pier, which means that cargo is loaded and unloaded across a 5-foot span. The port wants to eliminate that safety risk and be able to accommodate two, fully loaded ships at berth.?

Dredging crews are using two barges. The dredging equipment is on one barge and the dredged materials, which include contaminants, go on the second barge. The dredged materials sit and drain overnight, and then are loaded into trucks and transported to a disposal facility in Castle Rock, which is “authorized to accept the dredged materials,” according to a port news release.

“The Washington State Department of Ecology has approved the disposal site and is overseeing the port’s implementation of a detailed plan for monitoring water quality during the dredging activity,” according to a port news release.

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