Port of Newport officials report that dredging operations alongside the newly rebuilt International Terminal went so well over the past month that they’re confident Teevin Brothers can begin constructing their new log yard on McLean Point sometime next March. The recent dredging next to the terminal did not encounter any siltstone which officials said was very good news. However they added that there are some remnants of old pilings still under the terminal that have to be removed but it can be done easily this winter during the “in water” work time window.
Officials say the way is clear for Teevin Brothers to build their log handling yard on McLean Point and begin receiving their first big fir logs as early as June. By late August or early September the first log ship will arrive and be loaded at the International Terminal for its first shipment of logs to the Orient.
The port and Teevin have been anxious to move the project along but there were delays along the way that had to be dealt with first – like creating “offset” sites for the environmental damage that the dredging caused alongside the terminal. The port is providing new fish and shellfish habitat on the south bank of the Yaquina River, behind the Oregon Coast Aquarium. The port is constructing a very large culvert that will burrow under SE 35th and will allow tidal flows into what are already wetlands, but which will become even more productive for fish and other wildlife in Yaquina Bay. The port is also in the process of producing other “offset” areas for aquatic habitat impacts caused by the construction of the new Pacific Fleet Headquarters for NOAA.
Back in 2006, port district voters approved a $14 million dollar bond to renovate the International Terminal and for a large environmental clean-up that was required as part of the project. The port is anxious to begin paying off those bonds and to invest other revenues into renovating and/or replacing pilings and docks throughout the port’s holdings in Yaquina Bay. And it won’t be cheap. Having the first shipload of logs headed for the Orient next summer will trigger, they hope, a long term rise in port income to pay off those bonds and get those harbor improvements underway for the commercial and charter fishing fleets as well as recreational boaters.