MUKILTEO — The fish can breathe easier now.
That old Mukilteo ferry ramp next to Ivar’s is gone.
It sat on 213 wooden pilings soaked in creosote, a toxic preservative.
“There is a mix of about 300 chemicals in that creosote,” said Diane Rhodes, a spokesperson for Washington State Ferries. “It continually leaches into the water. It’s bad for marine life.”
A gallon of creosote is in each foot of log, she said.
Earlier this week, a barge hauled away the 213 creosote soaked pilings, along with 15 concrete pilings and 47 steel pilings. The load included a “Speed Limit 15” sign.
“It looks like a barge full of Lincoln Logs,” Rhodes said.
Heavy demolition has been going on since January at the site of the terminal built in 1957 that links Mukilteo to Clinton. The ramp was used by over 2 million vehicles a year.
The new ferry terminal, one-third mile away, opened Dec. 29. The tab for the entire project, which includes the facility, holding lanes and a new fishing pier, was $187 million and change.
Manson Construction is doing this part of the project’s marine elements, which includes disposal of the old stuff.
“It is part of the ferries sustainability plan,” Rhodes said.
About five years ago, the 138,000-square-foot former U.S. Air Force fueling pier, known as the tank farm, was removed. That bad boy had a whopping 3,900 pilings.
“It stunk really bad,” Rhodes said. “There were nests and animals living there. It was crazy when they pulled all that out.”
There is still time to see machinery at work. A fence ensures people keep a safe distance and don’t topple into the sea.
Rhodes said an extension was granted on the mid-February fish migration window to wrap things up in the water at the old ramp by the end of the month.
“We’re under a time constraint to get it done quickly,” she said.
Monitors hired by Manson are on the lookout for orcas and protected aquatic species during the in-water work. One stands watch in the Mukilteo Lighthouse and others on shore or ferry.
Crews earlier this month retrieved a car that had been submerged for several years. It was taken away on land.
Andrea Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.
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