Port Angeles: “Graving yard” sounds gothic for good reason

The name sounds downright gothic.

And the principles behind a “graving dock yard”‘ that the state Department of Transportation wants to build in Port Angeles date back to Gothic times.

A graving yard is an on-shore dry dock that would be used to fabricate massive concrete pontoons and anchors for the eastern half of the Hood Canal Bridge slated to be installed in 2006.

A huge pit, or graving dock, would be dug into the waterfront, lined with concrete and flooded as the pontoons are constructed; they would be floated through a gate and into the harbor, then towed to the bridge.

The same technique was used hundreds of years ago to build — and then float and launch — huge sailing ships that explored the New World.

Transportation officials hope to begin building the new floating bridge parts at the modern graving yard by next summer.

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