Port of Peninsula pier progresses; trail and trailer discussed

<I>KEVIN HEIMBIGNER photo</I><BR>The incredible beauty of Willapa Bay and the surrounding hills frame Port of Peninsula, where work on a new pier will start soon.

NAHCOTTA - Port of Peninsula Manager Mary DeLong reported Monday evening that BSM Consulting Engineers is preparing pier construction documents.

"The project may go out to bid as early as August," she said. "I have not heard any new word on the Corps [of Engineers] permit, however." The new state-of-the-art pier will replace the more than 50-year-old structure presently in service at the port.

In other business R.D. Williams reported that phase I of the Beach to Bay Trail will be completed by October; with Pacific County Public Works managing the construction process.

Phase II, Bay Avenue to the Port of Peninsula, is in the "funding research and grant application phase" according to Williams. DeLong agreed to help with that effort. Williams also suggested the trail could eventually extend north to Oysterville.

Williams then talked about the Clamshell Railroad car located on private property just north of Cranberry Road, saying it is still in need of a location to be moved to for renovation. Williams suggested that the port would be a good temporary location for the renovation efforts. The commissioners concurred that locating it at the port on a temporary basis might be feasible, with conditions such as a time limit and insurance coverage needing to be ironed out. No definite decision was made.

Discussion continued about the value to the community a renovated rail car would provide, especially since the Clamshell Railroad was an important and historic part of the early oyster industry.

"Locating the car along the Beach to Bay Trail would provide a destination for trail users," Williams said. He suggested that the core group of citizens trying to save the rail car should find a glimmer of hope in their efforts to save the historic combination mail and passenger railroad car.

Under new business DeLong advised that she will be attending the Washington Public Port Conference to be held in Ocean Shores July 12 and 13. She then reported that Ed Erola of Ed Wing Boats is building a 10x55 foot trailer on log truck axles that could provide boat hauling service. Commissioners Clyde Sayce and Bonnie Reynolds discussed purchasing or leasing options for the trailer that could be used to move the Port's 13 oyster dredges. Sayce voiced a concern that the new, longer dredges might not be accommodated by the trailer and the matter was to be further researched with Erola.

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