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Kalakala could cause millions in losses and unemployment, feds say

Kalakala could cause millions in losses and unemployment, feds say

by Tim Flanagan on January 26, 2012

Deborah Bach has this story at Three Sheets Northwest:


[Despite being evicted, the Kalakala remains moored next to a concrete plant on Tacoma's Hylebos Waterway.]

If the Kalakala sinks at its moorings in Tacoma’s Hylebos Waterway as it is likely to, it will cause an economic disaster totaling millions of dollars in losses monthly and unemployment for more than 1,000 workers.

Those are the dire conclusions of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers, which are working together on an emergency plan for the decrepit 1926 ferry.

If the Kalakala sinks it would block the Hylebos, a busy commercial waterway, resulting in an estimated $8 million to $23 million monthly in income and employment losses for local companies, and temporary unemployment for 1,000 to 1,300 workers, Corps Spokesman William Dowell said.

Removal of a sunken Kalakala would take up to five months and cost more than $7.8 million, according to Army Corps estimates. Even if doesn’t sink, removal costs would likely be around $4 million. That’s money the Corps doesn’t have, Dowell said. It would have to be diverted from other possible projects, such as a much-needed dredging of the Swinomish Channel in northwest Washington.

“At this point, there’s no money to do this,” he said. “You’re talking about taking money away from other projects that are necessary (in order to) take care of this thing.”

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