The aging Pasco boat dock that was ravaged by this winter’s heavy snowfall is coming out piece by piece.
A demolition crew this week started dismantling the western dock at the Pasco Boat Basin.
The wooden structure is one of two covered docks, and three overall, in the boat basin. It was frozen under the Columbia River in January and into February, with the roof bowed down to just above the water.
Pasco City Council members had planned in mid-January to approve $172,000 for a temporary fix, so the docks could last a few more years until they had $850,000 to replace each dock.
But then the snow hit, and hit some more, and the temperature refused to creep above the freezing mark.
At that point, Rick Terway, Pasco’s administrative and community services director, knew the western dock was a loss, but he had to wait until the river thawed to assess the full damage.
The two covered docks in the Boat Basin were built in the late 1940s and have 35 slips each.
The marina removed all fuel and oil from the boats that were renting covered slips over the summer, just in case the boats went under the water because of the frozen docks.
Pasco leases the boat basin from the Army Corps of Engineers, and sub-leases it to Columbia Marine Center and its private operator, Jim Toroni.
The docks are owned by the city and are not part of the leased property, however the Corps was notified about what was happening.
Employees with T-Tap Construction Services of Kennewick have cut the dock and its roof into approximately 25-foot sections. They are being pulled out one at a time, with some materials headed for recycling, while the rest will end up in the dump.
Terway recently told council members that after the dock is gone, the city will start the permitting process for its replacement. The new dock will be all steel with an average lifetime of 20 to 25 years minimum, he said.