Client: US Coast Guard
Location: Burrows Island, WA
Scope of Work:
- Contaminated Soil Removal Action
- Repair and maintenance
In early October 2023, Brice Engineering (BEL) concluded its fieldwork at the USCG light station on Burrows Island, situated approximately 0.25 miles off the coast of Anacortes, Washington. Erected in 1906, the USCG light station stands as a vital navigational aid, encompassing structures such as a boathouse, derrick, lighthouse, and a duplex housing building. Notably, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
As indicated on an informational board on the island, volunteers from the Northwest Schooner Society/Northwest Passages are actively engaged in the property’s restoration, with plans to open it to the public for day use and overnight stays. Historically, the station has also served as a venue for hosting school groups for educational purposes.
BEL’s multifaceted tasks included the removal of 4,000 square feet of asbestos-containing material identified in the roof tiles of the housing duplex. These materials were systematically replaced with roofing materials approved by both the USCG and the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Additionally, BEL executed the replacement of approximately 200 square feet of concrete walkways surrounding the housing duplex and the demolition of a 4,000 square feet metal helicopter pad in close proximity.
A significant environmental initiative involved the excavation of approximately 1,300 cubic yards of lead-contaminated soil and meticulously placed into 430, 3.5-cubic-yard supersacks for barge transport and subsequent disposal. The contamination levels, stemming from the flaking of lead-based paint off the light station structures over the years, exceeded acceptable limits. Over a four-day period, the BEL field team orchestrated slinging operations between the station and a barge positioned several meters from the island’s cliffs. This process facilitated the transport of 1,100 supersacks of clean soil to the island while removing supersacks of contaminated soil for proper disposal.
The project concluded with the demolition of the island’s deteriorating pier supporting a set of stairs which is the only access to the site. Subsequently, BEL installed a new support design engineered by a Washington State licensed PE. This new support system included a concrete column with aluminum supports to hold up the staircase as another concrete pier would erode, again, over time.
- Construction could not take place within 660 feet of eagle nests between 15 January and 15 August to protect fledgling bald eagles and other potentially nesting species.
- No in-water work or work below ordinary high water could take place between 1 March and 2 July
- The barge could not be placed on any observable kelp beds.
- Construction was limited to project areas that are outside the 600-foot buffer.
- The light station is accessible only by boat or helicopter.
- Helicopters were required to be routed around the north side of the island per the Terrestrial Ecological Evaluation written by Washington State Department of Ecology in 2013 to avoid conflict with slinging operations.