1/17/2010

OHD update #3





Here we are again, another week into the process and we are retrograding! Literally! The original hole is filled in and they have moved to the opposite end to begin there. I suppose this means that by the time they get back to the original hole it will have mysteriously "fixed" itself! I understand that the dock crew wanted to be doing 50' a day and so far they got "0" done.I guess those test borings that the town had done were just so much useless expenditures of the tax payers bucks. Time will tell. TIFN Oh Damn! If you've gotten this far, read the comments. Number 3 does some explaining about the recent updates to this particular post!!!

13 comments:

Sam said...

Seems like the old method of building a bulkhead was lots of timbers with rock stacked behind it, a method that dates back to the Civil War days. There could well be lots of obstructions inside the old bulkhead, including large tie-backs and rip-rap fill rocks. I will defer to island historian Mr. Downie and you locals, but that area where they are working is quite old, unlike the newer section where Interstate built their ferry terminal.

Come on, you know underground work and you never know what you're going to find down there. If I recall, even the road to the high school had all kinds of stuff not on the engineering maps, including drainage pipes and freshwater springs!

If an only if the underground is sand, clay, and gravel can you get away with drop-hammer sheet piles for harbor bulkheads. That's why I asked about jetting, a method using high-pressure water. If you run into an obstruction you have to try to bust it up with a huge drop weight on a crane, and/or use a large excavator or clamshell dredge bucket to remove it. You could have oak and cypress timbers and even ships down there!

Anonymous said...

Here we go again! Change work orders, unforseen conditions. Sounds like the school project. This contractor is going to make a killing!

Everett said...

Well I hope both of the commenters come back to see what others might have to say because, today on the noon boat leaving here the contractors big excavator left the Island, to be followed tomorrow or the next day by their crane. Why, you might be inclined to ask? Well apparently while they were doing their pounding and digging they came across a whole bunch of contaminated dirt/gravel/wood etc. Now we will probably be looking at the removal of a few thousand yards of EPA no-no dirt! This is stuff that has been in the ground down in that location for at LEAST the last 65 to 75 years! I can remember being down there when I was a kid and seeing the fuel line from the Mobil Islander spring leaks on more than one occasion. I'm sure the tanks that old Henry Ballard put in the ground back when there were fuel pumps down on the dock,were of pretty thin stuff. Now all kinds of stuff has been leaked down there for years and if it was going to kill anything in the harbor by leaching down into it, why has this not happened before now? How did all those test borings that went right down to the same levels as the bulkhead pieces that were tried to be inserted, why was this never caught till now? Why all the big problems with the contaminated dirt that has surely done all the damage it possibly could have in the intervening years in the harbor? Oh I know, all the people in charge of these things have to be oh so politically correct and do the old CYA trick. Well folks, if you really want the OHD project to get done, be prepared to ante up another 1 -2 million $$$ to have all that BAD dirt trucked down to the Penn. coal mines!! TIFN

Anonymous said...

Why the hell didn't they just put the new bulkhead in front of the old one. Stupid, stupid, stupid. It even makes more sense without the contaminated dirt!

Anonymous said...

Sorry fellow anonymous, but the new one has to go behind so you can tie it back to concrete anchors for proper stability. You can't fret about all the money being spent and then call for it to be done half-ass or wrong.

Sam said...

Boy that's horrible ... but finding some soil contaminated with gasoline and diesel and heating oil probably is easy to fix. But yes I remember the Mobil Islander that used to come into Payne's and Ballard's. There should be four or five pipes that ran under the street up to where the tanks used to be mounted on the hill. I am not sure if they ever installed an underground storage tank there - last I saw the above ground tanks was a LONG time ago.

So I feel horrible for you all, knowing that this can only cause delays and cost over-runs. No telling what kinds of skeletons you'll find in that area!

Everett said...

Oh there are LOTS os skeletons buried there! One of them was a bunch of sonotubes buried in front of and to the north of Ballards and out to the end of the breakwater, which is STILL owned by the Feds, but that has been usurped by the present building. Oh yeah, the sonotubes were filled with cement and used to stabilize that whole north east corner of the lot/building! The Town lost about 20' of property in that little dealy. I very much doubt that any money changed hands above the table.

Everett said...

Just heard via the grapevine that Chris Willi will soon if not already not be the Harbormaster any longer.
Don't know if it is true, but it is an item being bandied about out there in the ether!

Old NFO said...

Sounds like the past literally coming back to haunt y'all...

Sam said...

Well it sounds like things might be put off until the fall, at least checking the BI Times online.

I'm not going to point any fingers at anyone but I recall the Mobil Islander from 1972 or so, and Mr. Downie said she made her last fuel drop in about 1985. Perhaps the current Harbormaster didn't know that history, but just about any of those old fuel terminals have some kind of soil contamination. What happens is the older, bare steel tanks would corrode.

Curiously, EPA regulations for underground petroleum storage tanks (PST) now require leak detection, removal of the old leaky tanks, and removal of any contaminated soil. This rule came out in 1988. If the EPA gets involved, watch out!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I can confirm that which you probably already know, that Mr. Willi was offered termination or to step down voluntarily & he's taken the termination.

(insert NBC late night Jay Leno joke here--------->____)

Sam said...

From the scuttlebutt I heard, the gas contamination over by Ballards on the south dock had very little to do with why Mr. Willi resigned.

Everett said...

Far as I know the gas contam. had nothing to do with the termination. It was all about so called ethics violations. I say "so called" because what he did or didn't do, pales in comparison to Barney Frank, C.Dodd, Giethner and the rest of Obamaloid boobs and what they have done!