NEWPORT, Ore. — You only have a few days left to check out the tsunami dock that washed ashore on Agate Beach near Newport. Crews are scheduled to dismantle it next week.
Visitors heading to the coast to check it out will see a little something extra: a mural painted on its side. It showed up this past week. Although it’s a mystery who painted the piece, visitors have their own idea of its true meaning.
“I think it’s a painting of the tsunami,” said Joe Powell.
“That’s what it rode here on. that’s how it got here,” said Seth Thompkins.
Reactions to the art are mixed. Some like the new addition, saying it adds to the odd circumstances surrounding the dock.
“I really like it. To me it’s not disrespectful. I think it’s kind of an honorarium,” said Maureen Christian.
“If they’re just going to demolish it, it’s great that somebody came down here and painted it. I hope more people do. I think all the kids should come down and paint a piece,” said Mary Minor.
Others view it as vandalism.
“To me it’s nonsensical. I think it’s just graffiti. I don’t know. I don’t think there’s a meaning to it,” said Sylvia Hoke.
“I think it should have been as is. It opens the door for more paintings, I guess, and kids can come down here and tag it up or whatever. It shouldn’t be ok to do that,” said Derrick Taylor.
The mural though is still just a side note. The dock itself is still the reason people continue to show up to this spot on the coast.
“It’s amazing something that large, this heavy, could actually float and make it from Japan to here,” Thompkins said.
“Pretty amazing, it’s a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be. I can’t believe it floated here all the way from Japan,” Taylor said.
“I think they should keep it here. I think it gives character to the beach and its history,” Taylor said.
The plan is to cut the dock into five sections, use a crane to load them onto trucks, and then drive them offsite for final demolition and recycling. A corner section with one of the wheels will be preserved, along with pieces already collected, and used as part of a memorial planned for Newport.
If you’d like to see the removal of the dock for yourself, concrete cutting is scheduled to begin next Wednesday in the mid-afternoon.