Workers begin to dismantle Japanese tsunami dock on Oregon coast - KPTV - FOX 12

Workers begin to dismantle Japanese tsunami dock on Oregon coast

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NEWPORT, OR (KPTV) -

Construction crews have started cutting apart the giant Japanese dock that washed up on Agate Beach nearly two months ago.

The dock was part of Japanese tsunami debris that came ashore in June.

Work crews spent all day Wednesday making the first cut into the dock.

The plan is to slice it into five pieces that will each weigh about 60,000 pounds.

It's a slow process that can take nearly four hours just to make one cut through the massive dock.

Crews are using a wire saw that is cutting through six inches of concrete.

"It's industrial-strength diamonds in here and it's rolling with the saw, and it's taking it in circles and slowly cutting through the dock," said Scott Korab with Ballard Diving Environmental Services.

Crews will be cutting the dock into five big pieces and then hauling it away to be recycled.

One corner of the dock will be kept in Newport and moved to the Hatfield Marine Science Center to be used as a memorial and teaching tool.

"We came specifically to see the dock because I knew it was going to be dismantled and I wanted my grandchildren to see it," said Melanie Shutts, who drove out from Newberg.

Ever since the dock washed ashore in June, it's been a popular tourist attraction.

Thousands of people have flocked to the coast to get a glimpse of the giant dock that traveled thousands of miles.

"I think it's incredible, it looks exactly like I pictured it would be. I think it's special that it came here," added Shutts.

Construction workers have had to deal with the influx of onlookers while they work.

"This is almost like a parade atmosphere. People were out here early in the morning setting up seats and finding good spots to watch," said Korab.

Members of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will inspect what they couldn't get to before.

They want to make sure they don't find any more non-native species.

"I think we saw about seven species that were non-native or had a potential to be an evasive species and a hazard to the coast, " said Brandon Ford with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Resource Center.

Crews will continue to work on cutting the dock over the next few days and are hoping to have the entire thing removed by Friday.

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