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Dock ashore at Agate Beach

Agate Beach is open. Please stay off the dock.
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Aug. 2, 2012 6 p.m.
Agate Beach dock removal update 6

Newport OR -- A second attempt to use the wire saw on the Agate Beach dock proved successful and contractors were able to detach a section of the structure late Thursday afternoon. The object was heavier than expected -- approximately 47 tons -- and was too massive for the flatbed semi-truck on hand. Instead of removing the first section from the beach right away, it will sit there overnight until a larger-capacity flatbed is delivered Friday morning. Crews will continue to work until dark Thursday, use the wire saw to cut the dock up all day Friday, and currently expect to finish cleaning the site sometime Saturday (a day later than originally planned).

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists Steve Rumrill and Mitch Vance inspected the bottom of the dock section and found evidence of non-native organisms, including pink Japanese acorn barnacles, but none were living and the debris will not require special containment before being removed from the beach. The dock section has been wrapped in plastic to prevent rigid foam from falling onto the beach overnight.

Video of the dock section being lifted by the crane: tinyurl.com/agate-section1 

Photo/sound file: www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-08/1303/56500/section1b.jpg (The dock section is lifted clear of the beach with a crane.)

Photo/sound file: www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-08/1303/56500/section1a.jpg (ODFW's Steve Rumrill (R) and Mitch Vance (L) inspect the bottom of the dock.)
Aug. 2, 2012, 3 p.m.
Agate Beach dock removal update 5

Newport OR -- High tide has just passed at Agate Beach, and contractors continue to create a second cut on the dock. The first cut was unsuccessful, and the new slice is being made about half a foot from the first in an attempt to free the first section so it can be removed from the beach. When high tide has receded far enough to permit heavy equipment back to the work site -- perhaps around 4 p.m. -- contractors will determine if the second cut was successful. Another announcement will be made after that time spelling out next steps for removal of the dock from the beach.

At the same time the second cut was being made, contractors continued to remove small particles of rigid foam from the beach, and used a concrete saw to cut the top of the dock in three other places, in preparation for possible wire saw work later today.

Weather is clear and warm, and expected to be very windy this afternoon. A moderate number of visitors have been cycling through the site. Staff with the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Ballard Diving and Salvage have been answering visitor questions since mid-morning.

Video of concrete saw pre-cutting channel for future wire saw locations: tinyurl.com/agate-concrete-saw 

Photo/sound file: www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-08/1303/56491/gap.jpg (The first cut. A second cut is being made half a foot to the left.)

Photo/sound file: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-08/1303/56491/concrete-saw.jpg (Contractor using concrete saw to prepare dock for additional wire saw cutting.)
Photo/sound file: www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-08/1303/56491/beach-ranger.jpg (State Parks Beach Ranger Michael Zimmerman answers visitor questions about the dock.)
Aug. 1, 2012, 10 p.m.
Agate Beach dock removal update 4
Newport OR -- Contractors completed cutting through the Agate Beach dock, but were unable to move it off the beach before dark on Wednesday, Aug. 1. Suction from the water-soaked beach, or some leftover internal structural connection (or both factors), prevented the crane from lifting the dock section. At daybreak Thursday morning, one crew will begin the second cut, while another works simultaneously to loosen the first section. Since both groups will be working at the same time, it is possible the delay in moving the first dock section will not have a significant effect on the overall project schedule.

Photo/sound file: www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-08/1303/56463/crane.jpg(the crane has a lift capacity of 100 tons.)

Photo/sound file: www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-08/1303/56463/attach.jpg (a member of the contractor crew attaches a crane cable to the dock.)

Aug. 1, 2012, 5 p.m.
Agate Beach dock removal update 3

Newport OR -- Contractors continue to stay on track to complete their first cut through the Agate Beach dock. Using both a wire saw and concrete saw, they will sever the first section and lift it onto a nearby flatbed semi-truck. Work stopped momentarily during to free up a stuck wire saw cable, and to address small particles of rigid foam which emerged from the dock during cutting. Large blocks of foam sit inside the dock and provide it with flotation. Contractor crews raked and shoveled the beach to collect the material.

Another update will follow this evening if the first dock section is lifted from the beach and placed on truck.

Video close-up of the wire saw: tinyurl.com/agate-cutting2

Photo/sound file: www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-08/1303/56457/generic-work-scene.jpg (Contractors at work)
Photo/sound file: www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-08/1303/56457/saw.jpg (close-up of the wire saw motor)
Photo/sound file: www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-08/1303/56457/cleaning-foam.jpg (David Lund, with subcontractor Axis Crane, removing particles of foam from the beach)
Aug. 1, 2012, 10:15 a.m.
Agate Beach dock removal update 2

Newport OR -- Contractors are ahead of schedule, and have started making the first cut to dismantle the dock at Agate Beach. Each cut will take several hours -- the exact time isn't yet known -- and work will continue throughout Wednesday and Thursday.

Video of the wire saw in action:

Aug. 1, 2012
Agate Beach Dock Removal update 1 -- July 31, 2012
Newport OR -- Contractors spent Tuesday, July 31 preparing Agate Beach for the start of a project to remove the derelict dock that has been there since June 5. Removal work begins Wednesday afternoon, August 1.

Ballard Diving and Salvage and subcontractors assembled a 100-ton lift capacity crane, established a safety zone around the work site, and excavated sand from around the base of the dock. The excavation allowed the workers to insert thin plastic pipe beneath the dock. A diamond-coated cable will be threaded through the pipe Wednesday afternoon, then attached to a motor which will be installed on top of the dock. The machine -- called a wire saw -- will be used to cut the dock into sections. The crane will place the dock sections on nearby flatbed semi-trucks for transport to the Portland are a for final disassembly and recycling.

Periodic updates and photos will be published as the work begins Wednesday afternoon, and through the day Thursday. Cutting could finish as soon as end of the day Thursday, though some work may spill over into Friday. Conditions could change, affecting the schedule.

As of Tuesday, weather at the site was clear, in the mid-60s, and windy. Because the main beach access is being used by the contractor, a temporary footbridge has been erected between the main parking area and the beach. Visitors are reminded to respect the safety zone around the dock, and keep a tight rein on pets and children when visiting the work site.

Video of excavation:

Photo/sound file:
www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-07/1303/56433/07-pipe.jpg (George Bezates (left), owner of subcontractor Bezantes Construction, feeds a plastic pipe that will house the cutting cable beneath the dock.)

Photo/sound file:
www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-07/1303/56433/06-wire.jpg (A diamond-coated cable, part of a wire saw, will cut the dock into sections.)

Photo/sound file:
www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-07/1303/56433/05-digging.jpg (Sand from around the base was excavated to prepare for start of work Wednesday afternoon.)

Photo/sound file:
www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-07/1303/56433/04-marked.jpg (The dock will be cut into five sections, marked with orange paint.)

Photo/sound file:
www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-07/1303/56433/03-perimeter.jpg (A safety perimeter set up around the dock.)

Photo/sound file:
www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-07/1303/56433/02-walking.jpg (A temporary footbridge has been installed to help visitors reach the beach.)

Photo/sound file:
www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-07/1303/56433/01-current-july31.jpg(The dock as it appeared July 31, 2012 in the early morning.)

July 27, 2012
Agate Beach dock removal schedule change
August 1, 2012 is new start date
VERY IMPORTANT: The start date for removal of the Agate Beach dock has changed. Instead of starting Tuesday, July 31, work will begin Wednesday, August 1 in the afternoon. The exact start time will be dictated by the tides and equipment setup, and is not predictable. We recommend you arrive around 1 p.m. and understand actual concrete cutting may not begin for several hours after this time.

Attention news assignment desk: if you plan to cover removal of the Agate Beach dock, this advisory will help prepare you for your visit.

Ballard Diving and Salvage, the contractor performing the work, is working now to prepare the project site. Work directly related to removal of the dock will not start until Wednesday afternoon, August 1.

The roadside parking area at Agate Beach will be closed starting Monday, July 30. After this date, to visit the beach you must park in the lower, paved parking area on the east side of Oceanview Drive (
http://goo.gl/maps/aaTBW). We will reserve some pull-through parking spots for media in this lower lot on Wednesday, August 1.

You cannot see the work site from the lower parking lot ... you will have to walk through an access tunnel to pass under the road, then walk about 1/4 mile north on the beach to reach the work site.

Concrete cutting is scheduled to start Wednesday, August 1 in the mid-afternoon. While the work is underway, public information officers will be on site to keep you apprized of the status of the work, do interviews and answer questions. A representative from Ballard Diving and Salvage will also be available. Please respect the safety zone set up around the work site.

Because of the tides, active work will probably stop during high tides (
http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/weather/tides/2012/sbaug2012.html), and pick up again as low tide approaches. Actual times will be dictated by conditions. The contractor is now estimating the work could take as few as 2 days.

The contractor will cut the dock into five sections, use a crane to load them onto trucks sitting on the beach, then drive them offsite for final demolition and recycling.

Still photos of the work will be posted online through Flash News (
http://www.flashalert.net/news.html?id=1303) throughout the day. Raw video will be posted online through Oregon Emergency Management, and the web page address will also be released through Flash News when it is available.


June 26, Update 12, 8 a.m.
Dock removal will begin week of July 30

The derelict dock at Agate Beach will be dismantled and removed starting the week of July 30. The dock washed ashore June 5 and originated from Japan, where it was cast adrift after a tsunami in 2011.

Ballard Diving and Salvage (Vancouver WA) has been contracted to complete the work for $84,155. The work will take up to seven days. A more detailed schedule will be released when it is developed.

People who wish to visit the park in the meantime are encouraged to observe a few simple rules:
  • Visit at low tide. Visit the Hatfield Marine Science Center website for a tidetable.
  • While visiting, watch for traffic congestion and use the paved parking lot on the east side of the road.
  • When on the beach, keep a close eye on each other. The surf here can be surprisingly fierce.
  • Stay off the dock
Photo/sound file: (Dock as of June 19)

Photo/sound file: (Dock as of June 19)

Photo/sound file: (Dock as of June 19)

June 19, Update 11, 4 p.m.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department took six bids to remove the derelict dock at Agate Beach, and intends to award the bid to Ballard Diving and Salvage from Vancouver, WA. The contract will result in the dock being dismantled on shore and removed in pieces by land, and will cost the department approximately $84,155.

Two options for removal were considered: either removing the dock intact by sea and taking it to the Port of Newport in Yaquina Bay, or dismantling. The department was advised by state marine biology experts from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife that allowing the dock to enter Yaquina Bay posed a high risk of introducing potentially invasive species.

A team from the ODFW Marine Resources Program removed more than two tons of plants and animals June 7-8, 2012 from the sides, top and portions of the interior of the dock. State park crews buried the organisms away from salt water under 8' of sand. Among the species removed were two known potential invaders: the northern Pacific sea star (Asterias amurensis, http://tinyurl.com/n-pacific-sea-star), and a marine alga, wakame (Undaria pinnatifida, http://undaria.nisbase.org/). Both of these organisms are included on the global list of 100 worst invasive species.

While the lion's share of the species have been removed from the dock, some algae and animals may still be present on both the bottom and inaccessible portions of the interior, and there is no sure way to remove them completely. The department is not certain enough that invasives have been completely removed to ask Yaquina Bay to take the risk.

Department staff and executives tried their utmost to recover the dock intact and find some way of returning it to use. The Port of Newport indicated it did not have room for the structure, and that it was unsure how much repair and modification work was needed to put it to use.

Portions of the dock will be retained for use in a local memorial. A schedule for removal will be announced after negotiating final terms with the contractor. Timing is important because conditions on the beach, such as the amount of sand naturally piling up around the dock, could change without notice.  

June 14, 2012, Update 10, 2 p.m. 
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department continues to review bids for removing the derelict dock from Agate Beach. A decision will likely be announced the week of June 18.
Six companies submitted bids. Two companies submitted bids for dismantling the dock and removing it from the beach in pieces, two bid to tow the dock intact to Newport, and two submitted bids for both options. Details are below. 

Liquivision Technology, Inc.
Klamath Falls OR
Tow: $115,890.00
Cedar Creek Quarries
Newport OR
Dismantle: $79,922.00
Ballard Diving & Salvage
Vancouver WA
Tow: $128,702.00
Dismantle: $84,155.00
Fred Devine Diving & Salvage
Portland OR
Tow: $133,900.00
Billeter Marine
Coos Bay OR
Tow: $175,271.20
Dismantle: $84,496.50
Statewide Contract Services
Springfield OR
Dismantle: $240,000.00
June 13, 2012, Update 9, 5 p.m.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has received six bids to remove the derelict dock at Agate Beach. The period for accepting bids closed as planned at 3 p.m., June 13, 2012. The dock is debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan and landed at the beach 1 mile north of Newport on Tuesday, June 5. The bidders are:
Liquivision Technology, Inc.
Klamath Falls OR
Cedar Creek Quarries
Newport OR
Ballard Diving & Salvage
Vancouver WA
Fred Devine Diving & Salvage
Portland OR
Billeter Marine
Coos Bay OR
Statewide Contract Services
Springfield OR
Reviewing the bids and checking references may take a couple of days, at which time the department will release an update on how and when the work will be done.
Since Tuesday last week, the Agate Beach parking lot has recorded 12,791 vehicles. Traffic for the same week in 2011 totaled 2,077.
Smaller pieces of debris of different kinds -- mostly styrofoam and plastic -- are also washing up on the Oregon coast. The department and other partners are working on a coastwide plan for disposal of tsunami debris, and exploring longer term funding for this effort, but details are not yet final. Cities, counties, federal, and state officials along with many volunteers are working together to handle this challenge. The outpouring of support shows just how much Oregonians care about their beaches and ocean resources.
Coast visitors and residents can help if they find large amounts of debris they think may be from the tsunami:
  • Litter and other typical marine debris. Examples: Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, buoys, Styrofoam.
    If practical, we encourage you to remove the debris and recycle as much of it as possible. Use your judgment -- if you see a significant amount of debris or anything you think might be related to the tsunami, send an email with the date, location and photos to beach.debris@state.or.us.
  • Derelict vessel or other large debris item. Examples: Adrift fishing boat, shipping containers.
    Contact 911. If the debris is a hazard to navigation, contact the US Coast Guard Pacific Area Command at 510-437-3701 for assistance. Do not attempt to move or remove vessels.
  • Mementos or possessions. Examples: Items with unique identifiers, names, or markings.
    If an item can 1) be traced back to an individual or group and 2) has personal or monetary value, contact the department at 1-888-953-7677 or by email at beach.debris@state.or.us so we can make appropriate arrangements for return of items to Japan.
  • Potential hazardous materials. Examples: Oil or chemical drums, gas cans, propane tanks.
    Call the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 to report the item with as much information as possible. Do not touch the item or attempt to move it.

    We want to thank all the Oregonians who already have volunteered time and effort to keep our beaches clean.  By working together, we can overcome this challenge created by this terrible disaster.
June 8, 2012, Update 8: 3:50 p.m.
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has reviewed options for removing the tsunami debris dock at Agate Beach. The department originally intended to pursue either of two options -- demolition in place, or towing it off the beach to the nearby Port of Newport -- but has since discovered the range of costs for these options overlaps. The reinforced concrete dock contains a large amount of styrofoam, making clean demolition a challenge and increasing the costs for that option.

The department released a request for bids Friday, June 8. Bids may cover either option -- demolition or removal of the dock and towing it to Newport. Bidders can download the document from http://orpin.oregon.gov/ and should do so the moment they are available. Bidding will close at 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 13. The final schedule for removal will be dictated by the nature of the winning bid (either demolition or removal to Newport).

Until the dock is removed, the most import thing for visitors to keep in mind is safety:

  • While visiting, watch for traffic congestion and use the paved parking lot on the east side of the road.

  • When on the beach, keep a close eye on each other. The surf here can be surprisingly fierce.

  • Stay off the dock. Look, touch, reflect on the original tragedy that brought this visitor to Oregon's shores, but do not compound the sadness of that day by suffering an injury.
June 7, 2012, Update 7: 5 p.m.
The marine organisms removed from the Agate Beach derelict dock were buried landward from the site. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff and volunteers removed about a ton and a half of plant and animal material. Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff and a contractor excavated a hole approximately eight feet deep far above the furthest reach of high tides and storm surges. They emptied the bags into it and filled in the hole. Since the organisms require salt water to survive, this disposal method is safe and reliable.
No further action is expected at the site until a decision is made about disposing of the dock, a decision which should be made in the next couple of days. Two basic options are under review: towing it off the beach to a nearby port or harbor, or demolishing it on site and disposing of it in a landfill. No further information is available about the feasibility or potential costs of either method; we're still weighing the options.
June 7, 2012, Update 6: 1:15 p.m.
A team of about a dozen staff and volunteers organized by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife made quick work of removing marine organisms from the dock on the sand at Agate Beach. Workers with shovels, rakes and other tools first scraped the structure clean, then briefly used low-pressure torches to sterilize the dock. The material was bagged and hauled up the beach well above the high tide line to store it temporarily.
Fish and Wildlife staff and volunteers remove marine organisms from the dock.
dock 004y.jpg
dock 010y.jpg  
dock 012y.jpg 
A short burst of flame to finish the cleaning.
dock 001y.jpg 
June 7, 2012, Update 5: 8:50 a.m.
Volunteers removing organisms from Japanese dock
The dock sitting on the sand at Agate Beach is covered with marine organisms. Some are native, but others are specific to the waters of Japan. As a precaution against possible invasive species, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is coordinating a group of volunteers to remove the organisms from the dock starting Thursday morning, June 7, 2012. The salt water-dependent organisms will be removed from the beach. Among the exotic species are different kinds of mussels, barnacles and marine algaes. One invasive marine algae in particular -- Undaria pinnatifida, commonly called wakame -- is present on the structure.
The 66' long concrete dock is debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan. It washed ashore at Agate Beach one mile north of Newport early Tuesday morning, June 5, 2012. Updates and photos are available online at http://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/agatebeach_dock.shtml.
All attached photos are from the derelict dock itself.
dock fauna 1.jpg = Exotic pink Japanese acorn barnacle (Belanus spp.)
dock fauna 2.jpg = Exotic mussels (Mytilus edulis or M. galloprovicialis) and unidentified barnacles
dock fauna 3.jpg = Exotic mussels (Mytilus edulis or M. galloprovicialis) and unidentified barnacles
dock flora 1.jpg = Undaria pinnatifida, commonly called wakame, known invasive
June 6, 2012, 2:46 p.m.
The dock on Tuesday June 5
A metal placard bearing Japanese writing. Details manufacturer and fabrication date, among other info.
June 6, 2012, Update 4: 12:50 p.m.
The Japanese consulate has confirmed that the dock washed ashore on Agate Beach is debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan.
June 6, 2012, Update 3: 11:35 a.m.
Oregon Parks and Recreation (OPRD) has updated information about the derelict dock that washed ashore at Agate Beach.
Shortly after the dock made landfall, it was checked for radiation and was found to be negative.
Scientists at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport have verified that there is evidence of marine life specific to Japan attached to the dock.
There is some concern about potential invasive species exposure. OPRD is working with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to contain this threat.
OPRD is still developing disposal options. Two possibilities are salvage or demolition; both are being evaluated.
June 6, 2012, Update 2
Update on the derelict dock at Agate Beach
Placard on the derelict dock
A metal placard bearing Japanese writing was found attached to the dock that washed ashore at Agate Beach early Tuesday morning, 1 mile north of Newport.
The placard has been forwarded to the Japanese consulate in Portland, Oregon, for their review. The origin of the dock has not yet been confirmed.
LARGER IMAGE: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-06/1303/54997/On_Deck_Placard.JPG(Metal placard bearing Japanese writing)
June 5, 2012
Derelict dock washes ashore near Agate Beach north of Newport
Newport OR - On June 4, 2012, ocean shore visitors reported seeing a loose dock floating offshore near Agate Beach one mile north of Newport. The object has since washed ashore and is sitting at the high tide line.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department staff responded to the site. The origin of the object is not known, but there is no obvious evidence it crossed the ocean. The dock itself is very large and heavy: 7' tall, 19' wide and 66' long. It is made primarily of concrete and metal, but is clearly designed to float. Because of its size and the chance it could continue to settle or be moved by wave action, state park staff are posting warning tape and signs instructing the public to stay off the structure.
State park staff, in cooperation with other authorities, are discussing options to remove the object from the beach. Agate Beach remains open ... just stay off the dock.