CRESCENT CITY, Calif. – A race is on at Crescent City to install 86 large new pilings in the Crescent City’s Boat Harbor by this time next week. It’s all part of a $38 to $40 million project to make sure the harbor can withstand any tsunami that may come it’s way.
Workers from Dutra Construction are working around the clock, 24-7, to get seventy foot long pilings planted in the bottom of the Crescent City boat basin. The pilings will be used to anchor these new concrete docks for the city’s fishing fleet which is getting ready for the upcoming crab harvest.
“These pilings are much larger than the old ones. the new ones are 30 inches in diameter, where the old ones were 16-18 inches in diameter. uh, the difference is, the new pilings are designed for tsunami loads, as opposed to just winter storm loads,” said Harbormaster Richard Young.
Last year’s tsunami ripped out the docks and pilings and scattered boats; they don’t want that to happen again.
“The choice was whether to put it back quickly, or put it back right and the district chose to try to put it back right,” said Young.
A special drill bit, made in Eugene just for this job is chomping through the rock bottom of the boat basin, allowing the 70 foot long pilings to go 20-30 feet into the rock.
“The drill is on the inside of the pile. As the drill goes down and it extracts the rock, the pile just drops into the hole,” explained Ward Stover of the Stover Engineering Company.
Stover and Young say this should make crescent city the first tsunami resistant harbor in the U.S., when it’s all done late next year. Engineers are trying to get as much done as they can before the crab season starts at the end of this month or sometime next month. There are environmental concerns, but the real project won’t be done for at least another year, or year and a half. Harbormaster Richard Young says they are seeking an extension of their in-water working permit so they can get more done beyond the November 15th deadline.