KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – It’s been nearly a year and a half since an asbestos cleanup was completed at a contaminated housing development near Klamath Falls.
Dennis and Gail Bailey are among the few who stayed at North Ridge Estates after asbestos was discovered at the subdivision about 20 years ago.
“We were up here for a long time by ourselves,” Gail Bailey noted of the solitude. “We really got used to that quiet.”
The asbestos came from the demolition of a former Marine Corps barracks.
Dennis Bailey believes the asbestos hazard was exaggerated. “I’m concerned about my health for other reasons, but not from the asbestos that was supposedly here.”
A three-year, $42 million “superfund” cleanup effort was finished in October of 2018.
Over 800 trees were removed from the 125-acre site.
“I’ll probably never get completely used to the new views,” Gail Bailey said. “But what’s behind is behind, and gotta go forward.”
Homes on the site couldn’t be sold due to the contamination.
But those restrictions have been lifted, and the Bailey’s have new neighbors.
“People have moved in,” Gail pointed out. “All the houses are sold, pretty much.”
“A couple doors down, some people moved here from that Paradise fire down in California,” added Dennis.
Bailey said he’s still not sure if he’ll sell, or stay. “Maybe buying a smaller place in town, and then buying a place over at the coast.”
A small memorial near the entrance to North Ridge Estates outlines the property’s military history.
That history now includes a new chapter focused on the cleanup.
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