North Ridge asbestos cleanup underway

Klamath Falls, Ore. – A $30 million cleanup project is now underway on an asbestos contaminated neighborhood in Klamath Falls.

Susan Pluim of E.A. Engineering said the objective of the North Ridge Estates cleanup project is simple, “We are going to clean up all of the asbestos on site, to make this neighborhood clean and safe again.”

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Katie Robertson is serving as cleanup project manager. “We’re doing a lot of surveying of the parcels,” said Robertson. “We’re doing pre-watering in the area that we hope to start excavating later this week.”

The site is contaminated with an estimated 1500 tons of asbestos used in construction of a military barracks back in World War II.

Cleanup will involve replacement of all topsoil, and removal of most of the trees.

Dennis and Gail Bailey are one of only three homeowners who still live at the site. “I’m interested in watching them dig 2 to 4 feet of dirt over how many acres, 170 some acres,” said Bailey. “And what it will look like.”

Gail Bailey is very concerned that too many trees will be removed. He added, “We’ll stay here.  I mean, unless when they cut everything down it’s so darned ugly we don’t want to stay.”

The project will take place in three phases, with completion in the fall of 2018.

“I am really excited to actually see all the work happening outside,” said Katie Robertson. “It has been an extremely long time coming.”

Crews will be removing more than 300,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the site. That much soil would cover a football field 150 feet high.

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