BURBANK, Wash. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a contract to remove Hard Rock Mooring Dolphin 4 which was declared extremely hazardous following a comprehensive routine inspection conducted Tuesday, Feb. 28, by Walla Walla District structural engineers.
The Hard Rock Dolphin Mooring Facility consists of six mooring structures, called “dolphins,” located one mile upstream from Ice Harbor Lock and Dam near the north shoreline. The Dolphins are typically used to secure commercial barges waiting to use the navigation lock, as well as to provide safe moorage for commercial river traffic in times of inclement weather.
Dolphin 4, installed in 1973, has deteriorated to the point of imminent structural failure. Inspectors are concerned that vessel contact could completely dislodge the Dolphin from its piling, according to operations officials.
The Corps awarded a single-source contract under “urgent and compelling conditions,” for approximately $33,000, to Advanced American Construction Inc. of Portland, Ore., to remove the Dolphin as soon as possible. Advanced American was already working for the Corps on a different contract upriver at Lower Monumental Lock and Dam, and had time in their schedule and the necessary equipment on hand to stop and remove Dolphin 4 on Saturday, March 3, during their trip back downriver toward Portland.
Extreme caution should be used anywhere in the area of Dolphin 4. All commercial and recreational vessels should avoid this location until the removal of the Dolphin has been completed. Removal work is scheduled
Dolphins 3, 4 and 5 were declared unsafe for use in February 2009 and clearly marked with signs stating their unsafe condition. Dolphin 3 and 5 continue to remain out of service and unsafe for vessel moorage.
Dolphins 1, 2 and 6 are structurally sound and remain in service. They should be approached cautiously to avoid contact with Dolphin 4.
The Corps directly notified inland shippers and cruise lines which frequently use the locks and Dolphins. Public Notices and other navigation lock information are available on the Walla Walla District website at www.nww.usace.army.mil/html/offices/op/t/navdata/default.asp.