PETERSBURG — Demolition has started at Petersburg’s oldest harbor to make way for a renovation project.
The work started Thursday to pull piling and remove aging floats, KFSK reported.
Later, the harbor will be dredged and the float system will be replaced in north harbor.
Western Dock and Bridge of Ketchikan has been awarded the $7 million contract. Work is expected to take about 10 months and be done in time for next year’s Little Norway festival.
Harbormaster Glorianne Wollen watched the work get under way Thursday before meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about the $3.5 million of dredging work later this summer.
Wollen and her staff moved vessels to middle and south harbor to clear out the area where work is being completed.
The last to be moved was the Department of Fish and Game’s, vessel Kestral.
“We had the Kestral was the last boat to leave,” Wollen said. “She stayed out there on the end kind of anchoring her spot until 6 o’clock this morning and then we’ve moved her down to C float.”
Of the 100 or so piling that will be taken out, all have been spoken for, either being given away or sold.
Wollen became emotional when she took her final walk on the aging floats last week before work began. Her father had stall 37.
“My Dad was out there for about 50 years and came and went from that stall my whole life,” she said.
Wollen’s father, the late John Deboer, was on the harbor board for more than two decades. She said he’d be thrilled with the new harbor that coming.
North harbor, the city’s first, was completed in 1937 with additional dredging in 1957, 1961 and 1971.
Dredging will start in September, and about 4,000 truckloads of mud and clay will go to the city’s landfill.
Tom Lewis Sr. of Petersburg worked on the harbor in 1957. He said the clay and mud then was pumped to create Harbor Way and the waterfront people now know.
“It seemed like when they pumped that up, when the water run out of it you not stick a pick in that. It had enough clay and it got solid. No question of that,” he said.