Tsunami dock lands in final resting place
Rural Sherwood salvage yard accepts sections of dismantled dock from Japan.
After a week of media hype and hoopla, the tsunami dock that floated across the ocean ended up unceremoniously in a Sherwood salvage yard.
On Monday, all five pieces of the Japanese structure that traveled thousands of miles before beaching itself on Newports Agate Beach June 5, sat quietly in one section of Axis Cranes yard on Clay Street.
The dock was disassembled and brought to the Sherwood yard last week. Its final resting place is a small section in the companys yard, with each piece revealing its composition of exposed Styrofoam, concrete and rebar.
During a quick tour, Travis Wilt, senior vice president of Axis Crane, pointed out the massive expanse of compressed Styrofoam that kept the once 66-foot-long dock buoyant during its ocean trek after breaking free from its moorings in Misawa, Japan, following that countrys March 11, 2011, tsunami.
The concrete encapsulates the foam, he said. Thats all it is, is straight Styrofoam.
Of the five pieces, the two ends weigh between 95,000 and 100,000 pounds each while the three interior pieces weigh in at between 75,000 to 85,000 pounds.
Wilt said the docks concrete frame 6 inches thick on the top and bottom; 8 inches thick on the sides hold the foam in place with rebar keeping the concrete intact. Damage to the dock was limited to one side where the dock smashed into something, exposing the rebar, he said.
Wilt said work crews attached eye bolts securing them with anchor bolts to the sections of the dock. (Workers went through an estimated 80 bolts with some breaking and bending before all were in place.) Then the dock was cut into sections last week using a diamond-embedded cable before each was loaded on to flatbed trucks. From there, a 100-ton crane, hoisted the dock pieces onto trucks using the cranes 90-foot boom.
To be honest, Wilt said he really wasnt even aware of the dock until he received a call from Ballard Diving & Salvage asking if he wanted to bid on removal of the item.
Up to that point, I didnt even know this thing existed, he said.
Ballard sent Wilt some specification drawings of the dock allowing him to get an idea of what was involved in moving the structure.
Fifteen minutes later, Wilt bid on the project, and Axis won the salvage job a short time later.
After four of the docks sections are smashed (within the next month or so), theyll join an onsite concrete pile that juts upward to about two stories high, Wilt said. That pile contains house foundations, sidewalks, old bridge beams and other concrete material.
The larger chunks of dock concrete will eventually be reduced to smaller pieces three-quarters-of-an-inch long or smaller, becoming aggregate expected to be used for roadbed foundations.
In the future, Wilt said Newport officials plan to travel to Sherwood to retrieve one of the end portions of the dock which contain large rollers. The piece is expected to serve as a memorial of some sort in honor of the almost 16,000 Japanese who lost their lives during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Wilt said now that this job is over, its on to other company projects building a footbridge in Hillsboro, installing a temporary bridge in Goldendale, Wash., and helping replace a ship bow at Swan Island.
He said removal of the dock from a technical standpoint wasnt a huge deal. Still, hes impressed when he thinks about the docks journey.
It floated 5,000 miles and made it here, he said. Thats the uniqueness of this project.