Port Angeles: Governor’s office vows soils dispute won’t delay graving yard

The dispute regarding “contaminated” soil disposal from the state Department of Transportation’s Hood Canal Bridge graving yard won’t delay the project once construction resumes.

Gov. Gary Locke, according to Rep. Jim Buck, R-Joyce, has ordered that the dispute between the departments of Transportation and Ecology over where to put excavated soil from the Port Angeles acreage not be a hindrance to the project.

The declaration followed a meeting in Olympia with representatives from Locke’s office, other state agencies and Poulsbo-based Kiewit-General, the contractor for the $204 million Hood Canal Bridge renovation and retrofit project.

The graving yard will be used to build concrete anchors and pontoons for a new eastern half of the floating bridge.

Construction of the $17 million onshore dry dock has been idled since Aug. 26 because of the discovery of a Native American burial ground and artifacts on the Port Angeles property.

Officials are now awaiting of an archeological plan to survey the site, and work isn’t expected to resume for several weeks.

When it does restart, officials in Olympia don’t want it held up because of the controversy over soil, Buck said.

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The rest of the story appears in Wednesday’s Peninsula Daily News.

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