By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News
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They are placing scaffolding around the cylindrical structure — notable for its height and signature “K Ply” on the flank — before removing asbestos-bearing silver paint.
The hazardous material must be removed before the stack is toppled around the end of March, according to Port of Port Angeles Director of Engineering Chris Hartman.
The Port of Port Angeles, which owns the 19-acre waterfront site at 439 Marine Drive, signed Rhine Demolition of Tacoma to a $1.6 million contract to demolish 11 buildings dating to 1941, including a 180,000-square-foot mill building that will be gone by mid-April.
Port of Port Angeles commissioners will get an update on the project at their regular meeting at 9:30 a.m. today at the port administrative building, 338 W. First St.
Once the scaffolding is built, the stack will be swathed in plastic so workers can chip away at the asbestos coating with needle guns without fear of dispersing the toxic material, Hartman said.
“We need to encapsulate the whole stack,” he said.
A boiler building and carpenter shop were demolished in a matter of days, making way for the hazardous material abatement that will take up most of the demolition project's time, Hartman said.
The plant ceased operation in December 2011.
Demolition will be completed by May 3, Hartman said.
The port is expected to spend about
$3.1 million for environmental cleanup from 2013 to 2017, when it will be ready for new marine-trade-related tenant or tenants.
Rhine is recycling wood, steel and copper from the demolition, port commission President John Calhoun said Friday.
Calhoun said he toured the site Jan. 7, noting that the kind of 40-foot timbers being recycled are the type commonly marketed to people who build mansions.
“[Rhine] was telling me they take them to their headquarters in Tacoma, clean them up and market them for high-end personal construction projects,” Calhoun said.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.