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By BILLY SINGLETON
Daily News Staff Writer
Work on two of Berth 3’s major pieces of infrastructure — the barge and the transfer bridge — began this week. The projects are planned to last about two months.
Berth 3’s barge arrived at the Ketchikan Shipyard Friday morning for its first major maintenance project since its 2007 installation. Vigor Alaska LLC is contracted to blast, clean and recoat the barge. According to Steve Corporon, Director of the City of Ketchikan Port and Harbors Department, 10-year overhauls are typical for these kinds of barges.
A barge-mounted crane could be seen towering over Berth 3 this week as it removed the transfer bridge and set it down horizontally on the adjacent port. Turnagain Marine Construction, the bridge project’s primary contractors, will tent the bridge and perform modifications and maintenance for the next two months where it currently sits.
In addition to routine maintenance, the transfer bridge will be modified to accommodate growing numbers of cruise ship passengers. Plans include installing additional handrails in the vehicle lane to allow passengers to safely walk on that part of the bridge as well. Existing handrails will be modified for pedestrian safety.
The Ketchikan City Council approved the $1,982,098 contract for the barge in October and the $3,040,000 contract for the transfer bridge in September.
Corporon said that now is a good time to perform the transfer bridge maintenance because the barge was due for its 10-year overhaul.
Effects of the berth’s temporary inoperation will be minimal because its use is limited in the winter.