By Gretchen Wehmhoff

The Skagway Harbor skyline has taken a turn from towering cruise ships to giant cranes as work continues on the new Ore Dock design.

The dock, being readied to handle larger cruise ships with 500 feet cruise floats, has been in demolition mode most of the fall. 

“One of the key pieces is the demolition of the auto [ore] loader. We’ve got one of the pieces off. They removed it on Saturday, here very shortly today, we’ll have another piece of it removed. And so with just demolition right now everything appears to be on track,” Skagway Port Director Cody Jennings said.

Pacific Pile & Marine is in Skagway for the project. The ore loader must be dismantled and removed before the project can continue and Hamilton Construction can finish timber demolition. The demolished parts of the loader will be barged south for disposal. 

“They’ve got most of the timber dock demo’d. They’ve got some other piling removed, the concrete dock is partially demolished, and they’ve got some additional demolition stuff that’s going to happen. Then they’ll start in pile driving,” Jennings said.

Several contracting companies are sharing the work.

Jennings believes the contractors expect about 60 workers to be in Skagway off and on throughout the process of the project this winter.

While the project continues, occasional budget issues arise. KPFF Consulting Engineers submitted a change order to MOS for $125,280 to account for additional pile splicing, drawing revision, fuel line tie-in modifications and additional plug valves.

Jennings says that change orders are fairly normal. “It’s usually something unexpected, or they or we get through the process and maybe there’s a better solution or something along those lines? I mean, there can be any number of reasons for a change order.”

While the work continues on the Ore Dock renovation, the future of marine services platform is still in talks with the MOS and the Yukon government.

Readers can follow the work on the Port of Skagway Facebook Page.