VIDEO: Cleanup continues at former flour-mill dock at north end of Duwamish River

(King County video, photo)
That video shows one of the many cleanup operations along the polluted Duwamish River – in this case, a King County-led project removing almost 2,000 creosote-contaminated pilings that are part of a “derelict timber dock” on west Harbor Island. This week the county sent an update on the $8 million project, which is expected to be complete by the end of September. Barge-based equipment has been pulling the pilings up for “safe disposal offsite”; after all the pilings are dealt with, “crews will remove the concrete bulkhead and other dock components on land and stabilize the shoreline,” the update says.

The old dock is part of the former Fisher Flour Mills site that the county bought almost 20 years ago; as part of the deal, an “aquatic lease” with the state was transferred to the county, and its requirements led to this cleanup project, as explained here.

5 Replies to "VIDEO: Cleanup continues at former flour-mill dock at north end of Duwamish River"

  • Joan August 21, 2022 (6:45 pm)

    Good work! Any amount of clean up on our river is a step forward.

  • 22blades August 21, 2022 (10:21 pm)

    Reminds me of the many cleanup efforts over the years like Bainbridge Island’s Wycoff Creosote Plant in Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island. It’s amazing the past (bad) practices that were common. People these days probably don’t even know what the Aroma of Tacoma was. It’s a long hard slog to restoring these lands. I hope “we” can restore the rightful place for the Duwamish Tribe along with their lands & waters. If you look at the 1932 Aerial, you can see how much was filled in.

    • Drew August 22, 2022 (8:07 am)

      What was the bad past practice in this case?  Unless you’re referring to the industrial development of the entire river, or of Seattle as a whole for that matter.  It was a flour mill than ran from 1911-2001, employing a lot of people and making food for many others.  It wasn’t a creosote plant or arsenic smelter.  I remember seeing ships at that dock in the 1980’s.Having said that, it’s great that it’s actually being removed in a responsible manner and not being allowed to deteriorate any further.  The sections of the Duwamish that have been restored as habitat are quite nice.  

      • Neighbor August 22, 2022 (11:49 am)

        The bad practice is the thing that left behind toxic materials for future generations.  So in this case using creosote soaked logs for pilings.

        • Drew August 22, 2022 (9:54 pm)

          Fair enough, thanks for the reply.  Today the pilings would probably be steel or concrete.  Though creosote-treated wood pilings were used up until pretty recently, at least until the 90’s in California, don’t know about here.  There are so many around the shores of San Francisco Bay that they’re just part of the scenery.  In any event, I’m glad this dock is being dismantled properly.

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