Washington company to dismantle dock from Japan

Ballard Diving & Salvage, with office in Vancouver, wins bid

By Eric Florip, Columbian Transportation & Environment Reporter



A Washington-based contractor will tackle the removal of a Japanese dock that washed up on the Oregon Coast earlier this month. Ballard Diving & Salvage, a company with major operations in Vancouver, was picked for the high-profile job Tuesday.

Ballard will dismantle the dock in place and remove it in pieces by land, according to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. Officials believed that hauling it out by sea posed a high risk of introducing potentially invasive species to the area.

The job will cost the department $84,155.

The Oregon parks department received six bids to remove the derelict dock, which came to rest at Agate Beach. The dock is believed to have traveled across the Pacific Ocean, ripped from a Japanese shore after last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami there.

Removed Crockett

Oregon wildlife officials removed more than two tons of plants and animals from the sides, top and part of the interior of the dock days after it washed ashore near Newport, Ore. But some algae and animals may still be present on the bottom of the structure or inaccessible portions of the interior, according to the parks department.

The dock removal could begin as soon as next week, said Eric Muller, Ballard director of sales and marketing. Once work starts, the job is expected to be finished in as little as one week, he said.

Ballard Diving & Salvage is a familiar name to Southwest Washington. It’s the same contractor that successfully dismantled the derelict barge Davy Crockett last year, after the vessel buckled and released oil and debris into the Columbia River near Camas. The 10-month cleanup ended up costing more than $22 million, paid through the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.