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Rocking and rolling on Warrenton's roads as project continues

A boulder bound for North Jetty on the Washington side of the river glides past Dairy Maid and the four-way stop perched on the back of a Big River Construction truck. (Cindy Yingst)
Thursday, June 6, 2019

Things are rocking down the highway again in Warrenton.

After winter hiatus, a project to stabilize North Jetty in Ilwaco is back in full swing. Boulders for the Army Corps of Engineers project are headed through town.

As many as 40 truckloads of rocks, weighing 6 to 30 tons each, are making their way through town, courtesy of Big River Construction, which is serving as a sub-contractor for J.E. McAmis, a heavy civil marine contractor from Chico, Calif., which won the jetty stabilization contract.

Last July, the rocks began arriving by barge from Bellingham, Wash., to the Warrenton Fiber/Nygaard Logging dock on Northwest 13th Street.

Eight to 10 Big River tractor-trailers are making four to five rock hauls a day from Warrenton to Ilwaco.

Both North and South jetties were built between 1885 and 1939 to make passage safer for vessels entering the Columbia River from the ocean.

The North Jetty project is should be complete this year. Then reconstruction begins at South Jetty in Warrenton and will go through 2023.

The jetties are critical for commerce in the Northwest. Should a major storm breach a critical section, sand could be deposited into the navigation channel, potentially shutting down commercial shipping, according to the corps.

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