EDMONDS — Removal of the former Unocal Pier near Marina Beach Park will begin Nov. 24, restricting some access to the park — and its popular off-leash dog area — until May 2009.
The former fueling pier was abandoned in 1991. It is now rotting and in disrepair.
Officials worry the pier’s creosote-treated timber could leach contaminants, said Joy Goldenberg, a spokesperson with Washington State Ferries.
Most of the park should remain open during the work, but parts will be closed for the entire project, and the park could occasionally be closed entirely, officials said.
The cost of removal is expected to be $2 million, Goldenberg said. The agency is paying for the work as part of early environmental mitigation for future improvements to Edmonds’ ferry terminal.
Just because the ferry system is starting mitigation work does not mean the agency is any closer to a resolution on the stalled Edmonds Crossing project, which would move the ferry terminal a half-mile south of the current one and create a transit center for buses, trains and ferries.
“We know that something needs to be done, but we don’t know what the specifics need to be right now,” Goldenberg said. “That is still a question mark for us.”
The Unocal pier has been slated for demolition for a while.
The city of Edmonds purchased the pier and surrounding land in 2001 from Unocal, an oil company that has since been purchased by Chevron. But the city has no use for the pier, officials said.
“We just see it as something starting to collapse,” said Brian McIntosh, the city’s parks director. “When there are low tides, and there are people digging in the sand, or kayaking around the pier, there are pieces that are falling off.
“It needs to go,” he said.
That process will start Nov. 24 as demolition crews go to work. Most of the project will be done with the help of large derricks on floating barges, Goldenberg said.
The park will be entirely closed to scuba divers throughout the demolition.
Marina Beach Park is not part of the city’s designated underwater park, but it is definitely a popular destination for divers, McIntosh said.
The city plans to post signs about the closure starting next week, officials said.
Reporter Chris Fyall: 425-673-6525 or email@example.com.