The Port of Astoria scored big on a $1 million Connect IV grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation last year with its plan to replace about 640 feet of wooden dock space on southeast side of Pier 2 with metal and concrete that will better stand up to ships.

It budgeted for a $250,000 required match but was taken off guard by a $584,000 overage that arose on the project’s cost. Bergerson Construction of Astoria is the firm working on the project.

“We think we can get through it,” said Mike Weston, the Port’s director of business development and operations, adding that additional repairs needed farther into the dock resulted in the increased cost. “We’ve come up with a way of knocking down the overage to $360,000.

“We think we can cover that in the next fiscal year.”

The Port is negotiating with ODOT?on how to extend the project deadline, currently set at Dec. 31.

“We have to complete this project the way it was scoped out,” said CEO?Hank Bynaker, adding that the Port is still figuring out how much time it will need to make it affordable.

In the meantime, work continues, with crews from Bergerson working on the substructure of the dock and laying down stringers, boards running the length of Pier 2 on which the deck rests.

Bornstein Seafoods, represented by Andrew Bornstein, approached the Port in July about its interest in expanding onto the southeast portion of Pier 2. Bornstein fielded the concept of helping with the match and then leasing more of Pier 2 to build a small warehouse for unloading, processing and storage, but the plan never materialized.

Da Yang Seafoods recently brought its own proposal for the same kind of facility in the same spot to the Port.

“Right here at Pier 2, we have such a limited space,” said Chang Lee, Astoria plant manager for Da Yang.

Da Yang’s project is to build a cold storage, ice house and seafood processing building at the base of the east side of Pier 2, while keeping its current plant on the end. Its facility would cost an estimated $10 million and would include loading of boat cargo onto reefer vessels.

“In the beginning, we were thinking of adding a building on the western side of the dock, but the dock isn’t ready for a new building,” said Lee about the structural issues just outside his plant.

“We want to be able to store our products on the east side of the pier.”

The company also has an ice house being built in Oregon that is expected for delivery May 15, although Bynaker said Da Yang’s area on Pier 2 West is not strong enough to hold the structure, which weighs 90 tons when it’s filled with ice.

Weston said he’s making a business plan based on Da Yang’s proposal for presentation to the Port Commission.

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