PenPly coming down — and you can watch
Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
A new security fence surrounds the former Peninsula Plywood site in Port Angeles. A webcam will allow people to view the demolition online.
By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
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The fence separates the demolition site from a 7.7-acre log-storage area the port leases to PenPly co-investor Grant Munro, owner of Munro LLC.
“It is the first visible evidence of restoration and redevelopment of a critical piece of waterfront property, so we're excited to see it under way,” Port of Port Angeles commission President John Calhoun said Wednesday.
Rhine Demolition LLC of Tacoma will tear down 10 buildings on the port-owned site by July 1 under a
$1.6 million contract.
“We have indications from the contractor that he expects to finish sooner than that, maybe a couple of months sooner, but that's just a projection,” Calhoun said.
Beginning next week, hazardous materials such as asbestos and pipe insulation will be abated, newly-appointed port Public Works Manager Randy Brackett said Wednesday.
Actual demolition is expected to begin by mid- to late December, he said.
Brackett predicted that by the end of next week, cameras will be installed so the public can monitor the project's progress on the port's website, www.portofpa.com.
A freeze-frame camera will take hourly shots from the south to the north from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, port Executive Director Jeff Robb said Wednesday.
After demolition is complete, the camera will be set to time-lapse mode so the public can watch the entire four- or five-month tear-down in a matter of seconds, Robb said.
A second camera will look from the marine terminal dock from the north to the south and stream live video to the port's website.
“The goal is to engage the public to see what we're doing, much like what has been done on the Elwha Dam removal,” Robb said.
Security patrols also will monitor the PenPly site to keep the public clear of contamination and of machinery.
Four excavators will be “the four primary pieces of equipment that will be tearing into the buildings,” Brackett said.
“We've had some issues already where people were trying to steal copper,” he added.
“That's something that's kind of pervasive” in the community, Brackett said.
“We'll be monitoring for that activity as well.”
Brackett said he did not expect that noise from the project will be significant.
It should be less than the noise caused by the debarker that's already on the site, he said.
From 1941 through 2011, the property was home to a plywood mill under various owners.
Peninsula Plywood shut down in December 2011 owing the port, city of Port Angeles and state Department of Labor and Industries $2.4 million.
Demolition will include the toppling of the signature 175-foot stack on the site.
It bears the name KPly, which was owned by Klukwan Inc. of Alaska.
KPly Inc., was the second-to-last company to produce plywood in the mill.
“The stack will be one of the last pieces to go,” Brackett said.
“That should be somewhere around mid-March, depending on the progress of other activities.”
Tear-down will be followed by environmental cleanup.
It will include the abatement of hydraulic oil and PCP, a wood treatment chemical that leaked into the groundwater behind the mill building.
Other contaminants include benzene and toluene.
Calhoun has estimated demolition and cleanup could cost up to $6.4 million.
The state Department of Ecology has made available up to $2 million in state funds for reimbursable expenses for the project.
“We have assurances that we have a $2 million fund we can access, and there's a process in place to do that, so we budgeted accordingly,” Calhoun said.
According to an agreed order between the port and Ecology, the port must have a draft cleanup action plan by May 2015 and a final investigation and feasibility study on the cleanup by August 2015.
Final cleanup of the site is not expected until the end of 2017, Rebecca Lawson, regional manager for Ecology's toxics cleanup program, said in October at an open house on the project.
She said the extent of pollution is unknown, which makes it hard to determine a time line.
The port intends to use the site for marine trades.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: November 28. 2012 6:13PM