Failed abutment near Sequim park to be removed
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
A pile of rubble is all that remains of what was once a concrete abutment along a side stream near the Dungeness River in Sequim.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM — A failed bridge abutment is being removed from the Dungeness River near the Railroad Bridge Park this week and is expected to be gone sometime today.

The abutment is half of what had been intended to be a bridge across the river on West Hendrickson Road, but after the western abutment fell into the river, the builders moved their efforts to build a car bridge across the Dungeness River to another site that is more stable, said Powell Jones, director of the Dungeness River Audubon Center at 2151 W. Hendrickson Road.

He said he believes it's 100 years old.

Removal began Monday and is expected to be complete by this afternoon, and Jones urged park visitors to stay away from the demolition area due to large equipment and flying debris.

The two-day Dungeness River Festival begins at the center today.

The “big block of concrete” is being removed to allow the river natural movement within the natural floodplain because of vandal paint that is leeching into the river near it and because of the frequently offensive content of graffiti, Jones said.

“It has been obnoxious,” he said.

Graffiti

Jones said he often escorts elementary school classes into the “north woods” area of Railroad Bridge Park, where the abutment is located, but first has to check for new additions to see whether profanity has been scrawled there.

He said there also has been environmental damage, as vandals leave unused paint where it can leak into the river, dry paint flakes from the cement into the river, and the vandals also splash paint onto nearby trees.

The 50-acre park is owned by the Jamestown S'Klallam tribe and managed by the nonprofit Audubon Center.

Removal of the abutment was funded by a grant received by the tribe, Jones said.

The grant partially was designated for the disposal of man-made items that can block the natural flow of water in the floodplain, he said.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 26. 2013 5:34PM
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