NEWPORT, Ore. — Tuesday was your last chance to get a picture next to the tsunami dock before it’s demolished. Wednesday morning, the area around the dock will be blocked off to the public for construction.
Visitors KEZI 9 News spoke with Tuesday at Agate Beach say they heard the dock would be removed this week, so they traveled from all over Oregon, and even the country, to be there to get one last final look at a piece of history.
For many, it didn’t matter how far they had to travel, but what mattered was that they saw the dock before it was too late.
“It’s well worth the trip. Like I said, we heard about it on the news even clear back from Idaho that it ended up here and we located it. It’s something I wanted to see,” said Kevin Winn.
“We knew that this was the last day that you could come and see it, so we drove over from Portland,” said Marianna Kidder.
“We better go see it today if we’re going to see it at all. It’s really a piece of history, and we’re seeing it in person before we can’t see it anymore,” said Pete Steiner.
It didn’t disappoint either.
“That’s why I came clear over here to see how big it is, and it’s huge, a lot bigger than I thought it would be,” Winn said.
“Just the size and you can’t imagine it coming all the way over through the ocean. It’s just unbelievable to see,” Kidder said.
Crews began bringing in equipment and staking in a barrier around the dock. Starting Wednesday, it’ll all be roped off.
“It’s fascinating to see all of the people that are coming to look at it, almost like a totem,” Steiner said.
Although many visitors wish the dock could have been left as is, Oregon Parks & Recreation crews say they had to remove it for safety reasons.
“There’s still concern that the invasive species that may be present on the bottom, which nobody has seen yet, could cause problems in Yaquina Bay or anywhere that you take it. So it was fear over invasives that lead us to demolish it rather than salvage it,” said Chris Havel with Oregon Parks & Recreation.
Crews plan on cutting the dock into five sections. It’s expected to begin Wednesday late-afternoon and last a few days.
“It’s a very clean cut and we’re trying to minimize any of the debris. There is foam inside this dock and we’re trying to make sure that it doesn’t go anywhere on the beach,” said Scott Korab with Ballard Diving and Salvage.
They’ll use a crane to load the pieces onto trucks and drive them offsite for final demolition and recycling.
One corner section, with a wheel and painting, will be preserved for a memorial in Newport.
If you plan on watching the demolition, Oregon Parks & Recreation crews ask that you take extra safety precautions like staying behind the barriers and watching your children and animals around the construction.