Ore. barge builder embarks on riverfront cleanup

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- An Oregon barge builder is preparing to begin four months of work designed to repair years of industrial use along a stretch of the Willamette River in Portland. Zidell Marine Corp. hopes the result will be a renewed shoreline with a 100-foot-wide greenway, restored wildlife habitat and about 30 acres of prime real estate.

The Oregonian reports the project will cost more than $20 million and target 3,000 feet along the river. It will cap and remove dangerous contaminants and replant the banks.

Regulators found high levels of dangerous chemicals in the ground in the mid-1990s, prompting a cleanup agreement between Zidell and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Last year, Zidell removed chemicals from soil hot spots. DEQ will oversee Zidell's work in the water this summer.

The company will cover most of the cost for now, pending litigation with insurers.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com