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Port of Astoria moves ahead with plan to fix sinking docks

February 6, 2020 GMT

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — The Port of Astoria has secured the state’s conditional approval for a plan that would provide more than $20 million to fix sinking docks that are critical to the seafood industry.

The strategic business plan must be approved by the state before Business Oregon will offer any more financing. The Astorian reported Thursday. Business Oregon has already provided nearly $20 million since 2001 and backed several large infrastructure grants.

Seafood processors at the port employe hundreds of workers each summer, but critical repairs are needed. The warehouses are slowly sinking because of a failing seawall where fishermen deliver their catch and a causeway substructure is so rotten it’s been closed to all traffic.

The Port spends more than any other similar agency on dredging to remove sediment flowing down the Columbia River and filling up slips and marinas. It could also face millions to clean up petroleum contamination along the central waterfront.

A decline in log exports, once the Port’s largest money generator, and a trade war between the U.S. and China has made the financial problems more urgent, officials said.