103-foot girders delivered as part of city’s CSO project
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A concrete girder is hoisted into place across Ennis Creek at the site of the former Rayonier pulp mill in Port Angeles on Tuesday. -- Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A towering crane braced itself Tuesday morning and lifted each of four 103-foot-long concrete girders into the air to be placed on two waiting bridge abutments on either side of Ennis Creek, just northwest of Rayonier Inc.’s former pulp mill site.

The girders, each weighing about 35 tons, were put in place lengthwise across Ennis Creek, with the operation finished in about 45 minutes, said Glenn Cutler, Port Angeles public works director.

“It went really well,” Cutler said Tuesday, “much faster than anticipated.”

Crews with Ferndale-based IMCO General Construction installed the girders as part of the $16.7 million first phase of the city’s larger combined sewer overflow (CSO) project, which aims to reduce the amount of untreated stormwater and wastewater flowing into Port Angeles Harbor by augmenting downtown Port Angeles’ sewer capacity.

The new bridge will carry polyethylene pipes over Ennis Creek so they can connect to lines being installed roughly parallel with the Waterfront Trail west of the property, Cutler explained.

The pipes eventually will form a link between downtown Port Angeles, the city’s wastewater treatment plant and a 5 million gallon storage tank on the former mill site the city will use for storing stormwater and wastewater for later treatment during high flow events.

The new bridge, set to be completed alongside the other first-phase improvements in early 2014, also will carry the Olympic Discovery Trail on a more direct route, skirting the northern part of the Rayonier property, Cutler said.

Previously, the trail wound south along the border of the Rayonier property rather than staying closer to the coastline to the north.

The bridge also will be built long enough across Ennis Creek to allow the creek to meander in its course, Cutler said, and leave enough room for future habitat restoration projects slated for the area.

In other CSO project news, work continues on pipe installation along the Waterfront Trail near Hollywood Beach, which is expected to keep the trail closed until May 15.

The trail closed Jan. 7.

Crews with IMCO Construction have begun excavation just north of the Red Lion Hotel to install lengths of pipe through process called sliplining, in which the new wastewater and stormwater pipes will be run through an existing and unused industrial waterline.

James Burke, the city’s project manager for the CSO work, has said the trail will be reopened in time for runners to prepare for the North Olympic Discovery Marathon the first week of June.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 22. 2013 6:02PM
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