U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District


Hometown: Portland, OR, US

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District
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Critical repairs beginning at MCR North Jetty


Story by Michelle Helms

PORTLAND, Ore. – Jetty stone is arriving and crews are preparing for some heavy lifting at the North Jetty in Cape Disappointment State Park, Wash.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is staging equipment and material to repair the 100-year-old navigation structure. The construction is required to maintain the jetty system, which provides safe transit to ships traveling between the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean.

“The good news is that we’re ahead of schedule,” said Eric Bluhm, Corps project manager. “Our original schedule had us working in the park through 2016, but it looks like we’ll be able to finish this phase of repairs by October.”

The accelerated schedule means construction traffic will be very heavy in the area adjacent to the park, including Ilwaco, Wash. Trucks are hauling equipment and materials Monday through Friday; jetty stone will also be delivered Saturday mornings beginning May 9, through the end of June.

“We realize having these large trucks traveling through the area is inconvenient,” said Bluhm. “Adding Saturday hauls to the schedule means we’ll get most of the stone staged early in the season, minimizing impacts later in the summer when the weather is warmer and there are more visitors to the area.”

Signs posted along State Road 100 leading to Cape Disappointment warn drivers and bicyclists they are sharing the road with construction vehicles, including flat-bed trucks hauling jetty stones - each weighing up to 30 tons - from a quarry in northern Washington. Additionally, the Washington Department of Transportation has lowered the speed limit to 25 miles per hour.

In addition to construction traffic, Cape Disappointment visitors should expect road closures and some traffic delays. The western most stretch of Jetty Road is closed and the west side of the east parking is closed to accommodate construction staging. Access to Benson Beach from Jetty Road may be temporarily restricted during this time, but can be accessed by foot from the east parking lot or the northern gravel parking lot.

The fenced area near and on the North Jetty is an active construction site and should be avoided.

The MCR and other Oregon coast jetties were never intended to be used for recreational purposes. Learn more about the dangers associated with walking on or fishing from the jetties at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Portals/24/docs/pubs/coastal_jetties.pdf

Details about the jetty rehabilitation project are available at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Current/ColumbiaRiverjetties.aspx.

The Mouth of the Columbia River's jetty system was built from 1885 to 1939. The jetties have undergone repairs and rehabilitation several times since original construction.

The MCR jetty system was designed to minimize navigation channel maintenance and provide safe transit between the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River. The jetties annually support $20 billion in international trade, transportation of 55 million tons of cargo and more than 40,000 maritime-related jobs.

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
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