The new 120-foot long, two-lane dock has a state-of-the-art ice machine capable of holding 110 tons of ice and has five offloading terminals, up from two on the old dock that became unsafe late last year.
With the old dock becoming dangerously unstable, the tribe expedited its replacement, obtaining permits, demolishing the old dock and completing the new structure in less than a year. It is also one of the first to meet new tsunami standards for docks, including withstanding a magnitude 9 earthquake and 15-foot tsunami wave.
“It’s going to be a huge plus to have all the catch come in at one dock,” said Michael Lawrence, Makah dock manager. “We’ve invited a flotilla of boats to tie up at the new facility as part of the celebration. It will be open for business the following Monday.”
It is estimated more than 50 percent of the Makah community relies on the income from fishing in some way and the dock construction has meant not only some jobs during construction, but a lasting improvement to the community that will pay for itself rapidly. The tribe contributed $10.5 million toward the project including a tribal loan with grants rounding out the budget.
Recently, the tribe got the news that a $1.1 million U.S. Department of Transportation grant will assist with the second phase of the construction, which is the oil spill prevention and response dock that will extend beyond the current structure.
Having a specific structure for the oil spill response vessels, including a tugboat that tows ships without power to safety, will allow all the response vessels to be located in one place and expedite their deployment. A crane on the completed dock is already allocated for industrial lifting to assist in oil spill equipment deployment. “The crane can lift 10 tons and it was mostly with oil spill response in mind,” said Lawrence.
For more information, contact: Michael Lawrence, Makah Dock Manager, (360) 645 – 3015; Debbie Preston, Coastal Information Officer, (360) 374-5501, [email protected]