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City Dock Still Closed, May Reopen As Soon As Monday

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Mike Mason
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Dillingham's Port Director said damaged portions of the dock have been extracted, and new materials should be installed this week.

DILLINGHAM:  Efforts are underway to get the Dillingham City Dock fully reopened, which may happen as soon as the first part of next week.

"We have the damaged sheets extracted from the mud, and we’re waiting for new sheets to arrive today," said Dillingham Port Director Jean Barrett Wednesday.  "The new sheets will probably get pounded into place tomorrow and Friday. Hopefully we can start backfilling the cell with gravel this weekend.”

Barrett expects the city dock to be repaired and open by next Wednesday at the latest.

The dock was closed on Aug. 8, after some pilings separated along 80 feet of the dock's north end. It was temporarily reopened three days later, making use of the remaining 250 feet of dock face.

But deliveries to the dock were again halted as repairs got underway.

"Since we started pulling sheets, we’ve been completely closed," said Barrett. "That’s been a week now.”

Still, Barrett says that deliveries have been made since the facility was first closed on Aug. 8.

“We really haven’t lost any business," said Barrett. "On the last delivery, before we closed to pull the sheets, we were able to get Northland Services to downsize to a smaller barge that could be tied off to the usable end of the dock. As far as I know we haven’t put anyone behind schedule or lost any freight sales."

Barrett noted that August is typically a slower month for barge deliveries than earlier in the summer or later in the fall, so the timing of the unforeseen hassle was as favorable as could be. Also favorable was that a crew from the civil marine contracting firm Orion was able to take on the job immediately.

"That crew just happened to be on their way from Naknek to Togiak to build a dock. They were able to come in with some specialized machinery and equipment needed to extract the old sheets and pound in the new ones. It’s actually worked out pretty well.”

The Dillingham City Council met last week and approved spending upwards of $200,000 to get the dock fixed. City Manager Rose Loerra has said this situation rises to the level of a "community emergency."

There's been no word on whether the city’s insurance will cover the cost of repairs, nor what is to blame for the damage.

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