By Sarah Aslam
Wrangell Sentinel 

Work to begin this month on Roosevelt Harbor parking area project


The U.S. Forest Service on Thursday awarded a parking area restoration project at Roosevelt Harbor on Zarembo Island to Ketchikan Ready-Mix & Quarry, with work expected to begin in early June.

About 70 vehicles in various stages of decay going back a couple of decades at the site about 12 miles southwest of the Wrangell City Dock has made Roosevelt Harbor vulnerable to pollutants and sediment from runoff.

District Ranger Clint Kolarich of the Wrangell Ranger District on Friday said work will begin by June 8 — and it’s now the last call for people to move their cars, trucks and any other machinery on wheels left at the site.

The Forest Service issued a call earlier this year for people to identify and move their vehicles before a contractor starts work, which will also entail the company removing whatever abandoned vehicles remain.

The plan is to add surface material to create drainage of the parking area away from the harbor, restore and improve existing drainage ditches and the culvert to prevent deterioration and erosion of the parking area, and restore the deteriorated catchment pond.

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Kolarich on Friday visited Roosevelt Harbor and counted about 50 vehicles still on site. Most of them do not look operational, he said.

The Forest Service will issue a final announcement of which vehicles remain unidentified and are subject to impoundment and removal. Kolarich previously said the Forest Service has “had a 50% to 60% response rate” in identifying ownership of the vehicles.

He said he didn’t know the amount of the contract award, but in February said the project was estimated at $175,000, and will be paid for with Forest Service receipts from the Frenchie Stewardship timber sale several years ago on Wrangell Island.

The harbor is a popular spot for hunters and campers, offering miles of old logging roads for access into the interior of the island.

People in Wrangell with information about any of the vehicles at Roosevelt can contact or call 907-305-0842.

The plan is to temporarily move inventoried, operational vehicles to Deep Bay while Ketchikan Ready-Mix & Quarry completes work at the parking area before the beginning of deer hunting season on Aug. 1.

After that, vehicles may be returned to Roosevelt Harbor and placed there in an orderly and organized manner while the Forest Service, borough and the community work out a long-term management plan for the site, Kolarich said.


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