Work to begin in weeks on project to pull refuse back from bluff in Port Angeles landfill
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Port Angeles Public Works Inspector Jeremy Pozernick stands next to a trash compactor at the former landfill in Port Angeles.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Work on a multi-million dollar effort to shift decades of buried garbage in the city's shuttered landfill away from a failing bluff above the Strait of Juan de Fuca should begin in the next few weeks, the city's project manager said.

Once it does, a portion of the access road into the Port Angeles Regional Transfer station will be taken down to one lane to allow the large machinery that will be used to move the accumulated waste to use the road, said Jeremy Pozernick, city project manager and public works inspector.

Traffic flaggers will be in place to allow residents to safely access the transfer station, Pozernick said.

“The biggest thing is to put safety first and make sure no one from the public or our contractor [is] hurt on the job,” Pozernick said.

Under a $13.09 million contract with the city, crews with Magnus Pacific of Roseville, Calif., will dig up and shift about 399,090 cubic yards of waste buried in the city's landfill, which was closed in 2007, upland from the edge of a 135-foot bluff to prevent it from falling into the Strait.

It also would augment the ends of the seawall at the base of the bluff to reduce erosion and perform restoration along Dry Creek, which sits just west of the failing bluff.

Pozernick said most of the heavy equipment to be used, including massive excavators with 10-foot-by-10-foot buckets, is already on site.

The city expects garbage excavation and transfer work to begin in the next few weeks and be done by October before the rainy season.

The northern portion, or cell, of the landfill to be shifted will be uncovered in stages and covered temporarily when work stops for the day, Pozernick explained, rather than opening the entire cell all at once.

The same will be done for the landfill cell just to the south, which will be uncovered to accept the garbage from the other cell, Pozernick said.

“It will definitely be done in stages,” he said.

Come January, work is expected to begin on the new landfill permanent cover and the sea wall at the toe of the bluff, Pozernick said.

The entire project is expected to be finished by November 2015, he added.

The city plans to issue about $16.19 million in municipal bonds to pay for the project, which will be paid back through garbage rate and transfer station tipping fee increases.

Construction, design, project management and costs associated with administering the bonds bring the total cost of the project up to about $21.2 million, according to the city.

The city has secured $3.9 million in financial assistance from the state Department of Ecology for the project.

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

Last modified: June 29. 2014 7:40PM
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