Haul-out, dock pilings under renovation
Steel rebar was been set in place last week as new concrete was poured near the haul-out at the Marine Service Center. The new roadway will help support a larger travel lift the center plans on purchasing.
Wrangell’s Marine Service Center and City Dock are getting a spruce-up this month as more than $4 million in capital improvements get underway.
“We have these two new projects at the haul-out and at the City Dock,” Meissner said. “We have state money and some Denali funding to complete this work and really needed this for a while. We’re really glad it’s happening now.”
According to Meissner, the steel pilings at the dock are more than 30 years old and need to undergo maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape.
“What the contractors are doing is sandblasting every one of our support pilings from low-tide and up,” Meissner said. “In the areas that always stay wet the coating is looking pretty good, so they are welding these great big, 460-pound zincs on everything. In the splash zone, where the metal puffs up, they’re sandblasting there too.”
A coating of petroleum-based tape is then added to the pilings, a move that Meissner said keeps oxygen – and corrosion – away from the steel for years to come.
“When it goes on, it goes to about four feet from the bottom of the deck,” he said. “Galvanizing goes on closer to the concrete because you can’t wrap that high. Basically, we have three new layers going in to upgrading the dock pilings.”
Meissner added that the new wraps and zincs would add 20-30 more years of life to the dock.
The dock is off-limits to anyone but city and construction workers during the renovation – but will open to limited use for the Fourth of July.
“People will be allowed on the city dock as usual but within limits,” he said. “We’ll be setting up barricades and asking people to stay behind them to watch the festivities.”
Because of the presence of underwater divers on the project, Meissner said that buoys would also be going in at the front of the dock in the next few weeks to alert boaters of where they should avoid.
“We need to keep people outside the markers because they are getting too close to the project,” he said.
The service center project, which is focusing on renovating and reinforcing pavement in the area between the haul-out and the gate nearest to Case Avenue, will be on-going during the next few months, and will add 12-inches of reinforced concrete surface to the facility.
“Basically, we’re calling this the ‘concrete project,’” Meissner said. “Last year, we got $3.7 million from the state to repair the boatyard. I believe we have about $3.2 million set aside to work on the concrete.”
After excavation and fill work, crews will lay those 12-inches of concrete in a bed reinforced with hundreds of lengths of rebar – a move that will allow the planned purchase and use of a 250-ton travel lift.
“We’ve designed it so the surface can handle those future loads from the larger lift we are planning on,” Meissner said. “It also will help the cannery when they start exporting seafood products. It will make a difference when it comes to safety related to the forklifts that move the product.”
Harbormaster Greg Meissner checks on a pallet of zinc anodes set to be installed at the City Dock renovation project.
The boatyard’s current travel lift is rated to handle 150 metric tons.
In order to keep the yard in operation during the project, work will be completed in phases over the coming months.
Meissner added that members of the public should avoid coming into the Marine Service Center unless using the road construction bypass.
“With the exception of the diversion of Front Street traffic, folks need to stay out of here,” Meissner said. “There’s way too much stuff going on in here.”
Contractors involved in both projects include S&S Construction for the boatyard, with Rock-N-Road Construction as subcontractor for earthmoving, and Eddie Stone Sand Gravel & Ready Mix on concrete. The city dock project general contractor is Northwest Underwater Construction, with Pacific Pile on re-metallizing.