Port of Kalama Schedules Contractors to Lower Weather-Worn Totem Pole at Marine Park for Further Evaluation

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With weathering and wear of the iconic wooden structures, the Port hired engineers to lower the 140’ totem pole the week of September 17th for examination.

Port of Kalama, industry, recreation, business, Washington State, industrial property, commercial development

Port of Kalama exists to induce capital investment in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and to enhance public recreational opportunities.

The Port is in close communications with the family who owns the totem poles to determine the best solution to potentially restore and maintain them.

While the Lelooska Totem Poles are beloved structures hosted at the Port of Kalama, time and weather exposure have taken their toll. As a result, the Port of Kalama has engaged a team of industrial contractors to lower the tallest of the poles to examine its condition and determine next steps.

Experts from JH Kelly industrial mechanical contracting and Ness Campbell crane and rigging are scheduled to be on site at Marine Park to lower the 140’ icon the week of September 17th—weather conditions will determine the exact day of operations. There will be two cranes on site to maneuver the totem pole to the ground and an I-beam will be installed along the back of the aging totem to offer additional support.

Marine Park—including walking paths, playground and parking area—will be closed intermittently during the days of operations likely from September 17th through the 20th. The public is encouraged to avoid the area those days as there will be no safe area for viewing.

“Taking down a 140’ structure will be a feat, and engineers will need a lot of space to work within so we’ll be closing the area to support their efforts to lower the pole in one piece,” says Liz Newman, marketing manager, Port of Kalama. “Following this project, the Port will store the totem pole near the amphitheater and continue to work with the family that owns them to identify the next best steps.”

The Port earlier this summer engaged engineering experts to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the tallest pole and its current ability to withstand strong winds and other weather. Early findings show impairment has affected the structural integrity of the pole—and thus the public safety of keeping it installed. Staff then worked with the engineering team to determine the best way to move the pole without creating further damage.

Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners declared the project to take down the 140’ pole an emergency action and instructed staff to immediately investigate options to remove the pole. An emergency action is taken when there’s a risk to public safety.

The Port is in close communications with the family who owns the totem poles to determine the best solution to potentially restore and maintain them.

The Port encourages visitors to be aware of contractor activity in the area around the structures the week of September 17th and to watch for further updates on the totem pole on the Port’s social media and blog pages.

About Port of Kalama – Where rail and water meet

The Port of Kalama is located in Southwest Washington on the Columbia River and immediately off of Interstate Highway 5. The port exists to induce capital investment in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and to enhance public recreational opportunities. Port of Kalama's industrial area includes five miles of riverfront property adjacent to the 43' federally-maintained deep draft navigation channel of the Columbia River. The Port is served by the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads. There are over 30 businesses located at the Port of Kalama, employing over 1,000 people. Port of Kalama offers all the superior facilities businesses need to thrive, and an unsurpassed quality of life. The port offers shovel ready sites, a new Industrial Park, state of the art Marine Terminals and transportation accessibility to rail and highway all just a 30-minute drive to the Portland International Airport. Port of Kalama also offers high-bandwidth communications, with dual access fiber-optic service to Seattle and Portland. Properties currently available at the port for businesses wishing to expand and thrive: Visit http://portofkalama.com/available-properties/.

Contact: Liz Newman, marketing manager, Port of Kalama, 360-673-2379 or Claudia Johnson, PR, 503-799-2220.

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