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Hickory Dickory Dock (FDX)

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1981 November  The new ferry dock on the Island was first conceived in the fall of 1974.  After many delays by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife who were worried about interruptions to the migration path of fish, a fill-type dock (rather than pilings) was finally accepted.  A radical new design for the lift mechanism which lifts the dock ramp was proposed bythe design corporation.  Instead of using the time-tested counterweight system used in all other docks, this one would use two enormous screws to raise and lower the ramp.  It was a very clever engineering concept, but unfortunately it was the product of poor design and incompetent construction.  The problems were almost beyond counting.  After several years of repair, replacement and re-design, the new concept was finally abandoned.  A new dock with the standard counterweights was designed, and the big screws were removed and discarded.  Finally, after seven years of part-time use of the new dock and continued use of the rapidly deteriorating old ferry dock with a four-ton load limit, the re-designed and re-built new dock was put into full-time regular service in November, 1981.

HICKORY DICKORY DOCK                                                                           

– – Paul Davis

“NEW FERRY DOCK   (by Lehr Miller)          – September 1974

Apparently the new proposed dock facilities have hit quite a few ridiculous snags what with cost estimate overruns, environmental requirement bickerings, Indian cantankerousness, etc. So many unnecessary agencies are jealously involved in this proposal that any sensible solution seems to be a long way off.”

Finally, late in 1977 a decision had been made, a location was finalized and construction began.  This was the beginning of an almost endless series of fiascoes inspiring a whole monthly series in the Tome by me entitled Hickory Dickory Dock.  The new dock was to be a radical, but very elegant, beautiful  new concept in ferry dock design by the contractor, C.M. Hill Corp.  It was beautiful!  It did not use the standard overhead structure with huge counterweights to balance the ramp weight.  Instead there were two skinny 30 foot tall columns – one on each side with big screws inside the columns to raise and lower the 130 ton ramp – with no counter weights.  The screws were a very fancy new concept – not your standard sliding friction screw, these screws had ball bearings rolling between the screw and the big nut to reduce friction.

During the next several years, various problems with the new dock erupted requiring ferry service to transfer back and forth between the new dock and the old dock in front of Beach Store.  To shorten the story I will just list several of the major problems.

There is, of course a large hinge where the ramp attaches to the permanent stanchion.  When they set the big bolts for the hinge flanges in the concrete stanchion, they forgot to allow for the thickness of the flanges.  So the nuts screwed on only one turn.  There are two solutions to this problem:

(1) Demolish and rebuild the concrete stanchion at great cost and loss of valuable time using longer bolts, or

(2) Fill the nuts with weld metal which would be easily done in a day.  Guess which solution they used – yes those welded-on nuts are still there.

The giant screws which raised and lowered the ramp were operated by electric motors, but these motors proved to be inadequate so the design was changed to use hydraulic motors – one on each screw.  The motors were, of course identical and operated at very nearly the same speed – but not exactly the same speed.  So, of course, as you and I would have predicted, the motors turn at slightly differ speeds, causing the ramp to twist and jam.  The solution was to run an oil line between the two sides of the ramp.  As the ramp twisted, the oil would run to the lower side and operate switches to cause the hydraulic motors to run or stop in a way to untwist the ramp.  Here’s a solution destined to cause endless future problems

When the ramp is adjusted to the proper level, there are large 3-inch diameter pins which insert into slots on big hangers to hold the ramp at that level.  The hangers were straight heavy-duty bars hanging down.  But of course as the ramp goes up and down the outer end travels on a circular arc.  The circular arc of course did not match the straight hangers, so the pins did not match the slots they were supposed to go into.  So send the hangers back to the shop to be rebuilt in a circular arc.

The big screws were subject to greatly excessive corrosion or abrasion, causing them to be wear out at a rapid pace.  To reduce wear on the screws, the new dock was temporarily used for only two mornings per week for heavy loads and the old dock used for lighter loads the rest of the week.

Here’s the big one:  The whole system was designed to be FAIL SAFE.  The big pins that were to hold the ramp securely in position required hydraulic pressure to withdraw the pins.  Therefore, if hydraulic pressure is lost he pins will be securely into the slots, preventing the ramp to move – FAIL SAFE!  At the bottom of each of the big screws is a hydraulically operated brake that requires hydraulic pressure to release the brake.  If hydraulic pressure is lost, the brakes clamp tight preventing the hydraulic motor and screw from turning. – FAIL SAFE!  You’re way ahead of me here – you know something bad is going to happen to this double FAIL SAFE system.

When the crew shut the dock down for the night, they set the pins into the slots; the hydraulic motors were turned off; the brakes were set, clamping the screws tight; and the hydraulic pump operating the whole system was turned off.  FAIL SAFE – nothing can possibly go wrong!

The next morning the C. M. Hill engineers were there looking at the ramp wondering how in @*%# could it possibly be down in the water.  I was there listening to the conversation and the head engineer said – quote “That shouldn’t happen very often.”

Here’s what happened:  When the pins were set into the slots of the hangers, they were not dropped down to the bottom of the lots, but rather left in the center of the slots.  So in effect the ramp was being held up by oil pressure in the oil line – the weight of the ramp acting like a hydraulic pump to maintain pressure in the oil line.  When the real hydraulic pump was turned off, pressure was left in the line by the weight of the ramp.  As oil leaked through closed valves, the oil pressure withdrew the pins so slowly you couldn’t have seen them move.  Simultaneously, that same oil pressure slowly released the hydraulic brakes on the screws.  Also simultaneously, leaking oil allowed the hydraulic motors to turn allowing the ramp to continue to drop until the big nuts on the screws were at the bottom of the screws and the ramp was in the water.

Finally, in October, 1981, after three years of construction, reconstruction, hair pulling, cussing and problem solving, a decision was made to sue the construction company, abandon the new dock fancy design, tear it out and replace it with a standard, counterweight dock ramp system that you see today.

We didn’t have these problems in the ‘30s.  Back then, the end of the dock ramp rested on sections of huge cedar logs floating in the water.  As the tide went up and down the floating ramp automatically adjusted to the ferry deck level.  No pulleys, no cables, no counter weights, no motors.  It worked fine for the passenger automobiles of the day.  Not so good for heavy trucks which the Chief Kwina couldn’t take anyway.

May 1979


         It’s difficult to Improve on near-perfection, but from time to time we try to make your Newsletter even better by initiating a new feature such as a regular column that appears month after month, year after year.  This month we are starting this new permanent column which will be devoted entirely to troubles with the new ferry dock.  Let us hasten to add that if we at times seem critical, our criticism is not directed at our County Engineering Dept. which neither designed nor built the so-called dock.  In fact, they have been most cooperative in keeping us informed.  Following is a donation from our County Engineer explain recent troubles.

May 1979


At the May 16th meeting with the dock designers, the County expressed considerable concern with the brake design conceptions and whether they will ever be capable of performing on a reliable basis.  As a result of this, a brake expert is to be flown in from Texas, hopefully yet this week, and another Northwest expert will also independently evaluate the application.  Assuming the problem can be resolved and the reliability provided, we should know by Monday, May 21, when reliable operation can be anticipated.  If this date is more than ten days away, we will go to a one day per week operation on the new dock during normal working hours, with a mechanic in attendance, so as to provide heavy load capabilities to the Island at least once weekly.  This service will also be provided if it is necessary to modify the concepts and make any significant system changes.

         We appreciate the co-operation of the Islanders in putting up with a very inconvenient operation and hope that the matter will be readily resolved.                                                     Ed Henken, W.C. Engr.

         June 1979


           During this lull while the latest new brake is being installed on the ferry dock mechanism, I thought it would be Interesting to go back and review the sinking of the ramp a couple months ago.  This engineering nightmare is too good to let pass!  If my facts are not entirely correct, I apologize for exercising journalistic license.

           The hydraulic brake is “fail-safe”.  That is, it requires hydraulic pressure to release the brake.  If it loses pressure by design or accident, the brake clamps tight and the ramp can’t move.  The big steel pins that support the ramp when it is not being moved are also “fail safe”.  Hydraulic pressure is used to withdraw the pins.  When the construction crew quit work that fateful day, they inserted the pins, set the brake and turned off and secured the hydraulic pump system.  FAIL SAFE!  Nothing could possibly go

wrong. Right? Wrong!!

           The pins were left in the center of the hanger slots instead of dropped to the bottom of the slots to hold the weight.  Even though the hydraulic pump was off, the weight of the ramp was being supported by the hydraulic fluid that was left in the system.  This created a pressure that was transmitted backwards through the hydraulic ramp lifting motor and into the supply pipes.  This pressure naturally leaked into the brake device, releasing the brake.  It also leaked into the pin control device and forced the pins out.  The weight of the ramp was acting, in effect, like a hydraulic pump.  As the fluid trickled backwards through the real hydraulic pump, the ramp continued to settle, sans brake and safety pins.

           No one saw it of course, because it happened at night.  But it would have been beautiful with violins playing, the full moon rising over Mt. Baker and the new “fail safe” ferry dock slowly sinking into the briny deep.

           Don’t miss next month’s exciting episode in which Les suffers a whiplash and Bill gets all his toes chopped off.

           August 1979                                                                                                                                                


           One month ago, there was a big meeting down on the new ferry dock including County Executive John Louws, County Engineer Ed Henken, Floyd Tuttle, and representatives of KPFF Corp. (hydraulic specialists) and C.M. Hill Corp. (Original design engineering company).  The bottom line result of that meeting was that Hill Corp. will have until the end of August to get the dock finished and trouble free.  If they fail to do that, they will pursue alternate designs.  I think that means they will reinvent the counter weight.  Let’s hope they have an old-timer on their staff who remembers how simple life and ferry docks were in the good ole days three years ago.

           It should be noted that Hill Corp. has behaved in a responsible and ethical manner. 

They have hung in there when lesser companies would have dropped out, and they have guaranteed satisfaction and assumed all expenses to redesign and rebuild to eliminate flaws in their original design.  I just wish they wouldn’t do their experimenting on Lummi Island.

           Here is a brief summary and update on some of the major problems.  The original electric motor and shaft that turned the big screws to lift the ramp were removed to eliminate vibration problems.  They were replaced with two hydraulic motors •• one directly on the bottom of each screw.  After a number of brake failures, they finally put a large, heavy duty, multi-disc brake on the bottom of each hydraulic motor.  These brakes clamp tight with considerable authority and I believe they will be satisfactory.  The hydraulic motors work very smoothly, but a big disadvantage of using two separate hydraulic motors is that they cannot synchronize, that is, one is sure to run faster than the other, causing the ramp to twist as it moves.  When they realized this problem, they installed adjustable flow control valves on the hydraulic lines to each motor.  By painstaking adjustment of these two valves, they got the motor speeds very nearly – but not exactly – equal.  Every few days, the ferry crew has to untwist the ramp by operating the motors separately.  Later, when parts are available, KPFF Corp. is going to install an automatic level controller.  When the ramp gets a few Inches or so of twist, the level controller will automatically operate one motor until the ramp comes level again. I am not too confident in the success of this controller.  It consists of a 15 or 20 foot oil-filled hose running across the end of the ramp, underneath.  As the ramp twists, the hose tilts and the oil runs to one side and activates a switch.  If the viscosity and inertia of the oil are too great, there will be too much time lag in the oil flowing to one side.  If this happens, one of two things could result:

(I) The ramp will go into a slow, uncontrolled oscillation as the two motors alternately turn on trying too late to untwist the ramp. Or;

(2) The ramp will twist so far that it will bind between the two towers the way a wide drawer or window jams when it is twisted sideways and can’t be moved in either direction.  I think this is almost sure to happen sooner or later for one reason or another, but I don’t know how serious the consequences are.  I hope KPFF checked out their level controller in the shop at minus 10 degrees F.

The apron on the end of the ramp has also had a flow control valve on its hydraulic line, so it now moves up and down at a slow gentle rate and it shouldn’t toss Don Hayes into the drink anymore.

           Here’s an Interesting side-light.  Do you remember when I reported that Floyd was practicing holding raw eggs between the bow of the ferry and the bumpers on the new dock?  Next time you arrive at the dock on the ferry, notice the un-creosoted wood beams between the original creosoted piles of the bumpers.  These new beams are Ekki wood from Africa.  This wood is so hard that it requires diamond tools to cut it.  The beams are pre-cut and drilled in Holland because they can’t be cut on the job site.  This wood is excellent in a water environment and is not bothered by marine worms and other wood-eating beasties, therefore it does not need to be creosoted.  It is so hard the bow of the ferry causes very little wear, and it should out-last several sets of ordinary creosoted pilings.  This wood is extensively used in State and Canadian ferry systems.  I believe it is OK for Floyd to use hard boiled eggs now.

           Many thanks to Jim Gresge of the County Engineering office.  He is very cooperative in supplying details of information and he invited me to an informal meeting on the dock when the KPFF hydraulic crew was there.  The speculations of doom and destruction are not his.                                  

– – Paul Davis

           September 1979


I can’t believe I’m writing this.  The new ferry dock has been working almost continuously for the past month.  There was a short interruption one day while some minor adjustments were made.  There may be a couple more interruptions in the near future for an hour or two for more adjustments, servicing and installation of trivial parts.  The automatic level controller I discussed at length last month may or may not go in. A decision is yet to be made about whether it is more trouble than it is worth.  Some flexible sleeves will be installed around the big screws to protect them from weather and dirt.  There is some potential good news that I promised not to divulge yet so hold your breath until next month.  If you know the tune from “Oklahoma” you might practice singing ‘Everything’s Up to Date on Lummi Island’         

– – Paul Davis

October 1979


         Fooled ya, didn’t I?  You thought last month’s “Dock” column would be the last because things were going pretty well.  When we started this column (this isn’t really a column, but we like to use that big newspaper talk), I told you it would be permanent.  Have you no faith’?  I guess all the locals know we had a shutdown, but for you continental readers, the new dock was out of business for a week or so since our last sheet.  Here’s what happened ….

         When the electricians (same contractor that’s having so many problems with the Beach School renovation) hooked up the thermostat that controls the heater that keeps the hydraulic oil warm, they wired it so the heater was always on.  Naturally, the oil got too hot which resulted in contamination that fouled the hydraulic control valves.  During the week’s shutdown, all the oil was removed and filtered and the control valves were removed and cleaned.  Another minor problem came up with the pressure control valves that operate the hydraulic brakes.  These valves were preset to the correct pressure, but the setting slipped causing the brakes to malfunction.  They have now been fixed with set screws so they can’t slip anymore.

         Jim Kresge of the County Engineer’s Office is making a very detailed study of he old dock to determine what its safe load capacity is.  I guess we should expect that it will decrease year by year.

         Here’s the good news. The Engineers are planning to open the restrooms in the waiting room building at the new dock.  They are now waiting for the Health Dept. to approve the drain field design. Let me be the first to condemn any vandals who mess up this long awaited facility.  Fortunately, we have a mean sheriff who lives and works right here.                                                                  

– – Paul Davis

November 1979



January 1980


         Since our last writing, the new ferry dock has been out of service a couple of weeks due to some defective flow control valves.  The valves have .been changed, but there still seems to be some difficulty, Actually, we enjoy saying “I told you so.” (August 15, 1979 Newsletter).  The new ferry dock is a magnificent piece of junk!  That’s official.  Our County Executive, John Louws, has written to the designer C.M. Hill Corp. and told, them, ,that the dock does not work satisfactorily, and he does not believe it will ever work satisfactorily  He has requested them to design a new cable counterweight system or the County will hire someone else to do it.  At some unspecified date in the near future, representatives of Hill Corp. will be here to meet with John Louws and Ed Henken to discuss the matter.

         A large piece of our local population; i.e. Si Eldred, has organized a petition to: have the dock revised with a counterweight system.  It seems that just about everyone is signing this petition.  We feel that this petition will be of very significant benefit to the County, the County Executive, the County Engineer and everyone who uses the ferry.  It will vividly demonstrate to the Hill Corp. how we all feel about this masterpiece of folly and should be an effective weapon for our  county officials to use against Hill Corp.  If you have not signed the pet it ion, please rush down to The Islander and add your support.  I do not know at this, time what the deadline is, but it is soon and I hope you get there in time.  Together we stand; divided we are marooned!

         The OLD ferry dock is still rated at 10 tons.  After $6,000 to $8,000 worth of repairs.  It will be capable of handling fuel trucks.                                                                                                    

– – Paul Davis

June 1980


         They said they wanted to use two big screws to raise and lower the heavy end of the 130 ton ramp on our new ferry dock.  We had some reservations because it was such a major departure from the simple, conventional, time-tested system of cables and pulleys. But they said the screws were designed and adequate for that kind of a load because they don’t have sliding friction like an ordinary nut and bolt.  They have rolling friction with a continuous string of ball bearings between the screw thread, and the nut thread.  We were impressed, but concerned.  The screws did seem to work very smoothly.  Of course, the drive mechanism was not adequate.  The electric motor and drive shaft vibrated too much, so they were replaced with a hydraulic drive system and the screws continued to work very nicely.  And then a multitude of troubles developed with the hydraulic mechanism.  The only constant thing about the whole system was the smoothly operating screws.

Guess what!!!??? THE SCREWS ARE WEARING OUT!!  It’s true.  There are signs of chipping and galling in the screw threads.  When this process begins, deterioration is very rapid.  I guess nobody knows the reason, yet.  It might be due to corrosion, or improper selection of high-pressure lubricant, or incorrect screw specifications.  Whatever the reason, it would seem to be falling on the neck of the engineering design firm that sold us the new ferry dock.  But this may be a blessing in disguise.  One -could hope that this will help to bring the litigation between the county and the engineering firm to a speedy conclusion.

         To keep the wear on the screws to an absolute minimum while the problem is being studied, the County Engineers have decided to limit the use of the new dock to two mornings a week so that a limited number of important heavy loads over 10 tons may be moved.  That is, the new dock will be in use Monday and Thursday mornings through the noon trip.  The rest of the regular schedule will be on the old dock.  This schedule will continue indefinitely until the next, as yet unknown, development occurs.  Lots’a luck to all of us.                                                                                                     

– – Paul Davis

August 1980


         NO NEWS IS NO NEWS.  Getting news about what the county ls doing about the new ferry dock is like getting pearls from steamer clams.  Apparently the county is preparing its lawsuit against the design engineer and doesn’t want to jeopardize its case by talking to anyone outside the courtroom.  My conversation with the prosecuting attorney was the quietest, most one-sided conversation I’ve ever been in. He would not even tell me if it was raining in Bellingham.  It doesn’t do any good to sneak around the back doors either.  Everyone in the courthouse has been told to “dummy up”.  As I see it, you have three choices: (I) Believe the rumors. (2) Disbelieve the rumors. (3) Wait to see what happens.

         The old ferry dock, as we Island residents know, is not in good condition.  It is not in fair condition. With a little patching and cosmetic repair, the county hopes to bring it up to poor condition.  They are going to add a new 2 inch layer of decking on top of the old deck.  It will run lengthwise instead of crosswise.  This will make a smoother ride, but it will be more slippery when wet, so you would do well to anticipate the end of the dock during wet and freezing weather this winter.  If you tend to be critical of the county for not repairing the old dock, you might also give them your suggestions about how to sell the new dock to raise money to repair the old one properly.  The new 4 ton limit on the old dock applies to the total weight of any combination of vehicle, plus trailer.  The new dock schedule has been expanded to run from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday and Thursday.                       

– – Paul Davis

October 1980


         For the past coupla years this paragraph has been chronicling, through tears and tongue-in-cheek, the ludicrous shortcomings of our infamous new ferry dock.  Like peace in the Mideast, you should not get your hopes too high at every little flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.  But it now appears likely that in about six months we will actually have a perfectly good, working ferry dock. t is still difficult to get information about the litigation, but I believe that the county prosecutor is proceeding directly to sue the tar out of the design engineering company.

         The following good news (I hope) was provided by our Main Man, County Executive John Louws. The new dock must be rebuilt regardless of the outcome of the law suit, so the county is proceeding to get a new design to get the dock re-built with a counter-weight system.  The current estimate is this: It will take about five months to design and fabricate the parts, and then about four weeks of dock down-time to install the new ramp counter-weight system. ~ This means the dock will be shut down during the month of March.  It is desirable to push along this schedule as fast as is reasonably possible to reduce the chance of the existing screw-lift mechanism falling apart completely.  If the screw-lift is still working in March, maybe the new installation will be delayed a bit and coordinated with an early ferry dry docking.  If justice prevails, we tax payers won’t have to buy our new dock a second time.

         The recent two-week shut down led to the discovery that the ball bearing nuts for the lift screws were seriously deteriorated.  So they were air freighted back to the east coast to be rebuilt.  But this in no way

corrected the deterioration problem of this inferior system.  No one will give any guarantee – or even an estimate – of how long it will keep running.  So the County Engineer is wisely keeping the new dock on a restricted schedule of Monday, Thursday and Friday, 7:00AM to 7:00PM and hoping it lasts at least until March.                                                                                                                                    

– – Paul Davis

December 1980


         FOR SALE — Slightly used ferry docks.  Hurry while the supply lasts.  We’re only half kidding.  The new design for the reconstruction of the new ferry dock is not available yet but it will incorporate a new lightweight ramp to replace that 130-ton concrete monster.  Fortunately, the old ramp is not a total loss.  The county engineer’s office is already figuring to use it for a small bridge somewhere in the County.  The new counterweight structures will be built on the existing concrete towers that now support the big lift screws.  The new construction will all be of steel, so if the designers don’t come up with another Rube Goldberg contraption, we will finally have a really professional ferry dock like they have in the big city.  Real estate owners will be happy to learn that the County has high expectations of getting 80% federal financing for the reconstruction.  The current plan is to install the new structure during ferry dry docking, which will probably be scheduled earlier than normal.                                        

– – Paul Davis



         The design for the reconstruction for our new ferry dock is proceeding on schedule, but the date of installation is not definite.  The County now hopes it will be done during the normal June drydocking of the ferry.  If it can’t be done on that schedule, then perhaps it will be delayed until after the busy summer traffic.  Federal/State financing has been obtained on the design work and is probably forthcoming for the construction.  Thanks to Jim Kresge in the County Engineer’s office for his cooperation each month in keeping us informed.

                                                                                                                  – – Paul Davis

March 1981


        The new ferry dock is broken.  It doesn’t, work anymore.  If you missed the article in Sunday’s Herald, one of the big screws broke loose from its hydraulic motor.  Kersplash!!  Sinko City.  The County Engineers did some makeshift welding and managed to get the ramp out of the water, but it is closed to normal service indefinitely.  The 4 ton load limit on the old dock now prevails every day.  The County Engineers hope to have some new parts fabricated and installed in few weeks to bring the new dock back up to precarious operation again.  Since the ramp won’t go up and down now, they will try to handle a limited number of emergency loads when the tide level happens to match the ramp.        

– – Paul Davis

April 1981


        The new County “boat launch” is temporarily out of commission.  The launch ramp is raised up out of the water for an indefinite period of time.  But the County figures “What the heck–while the ramp is out of the water, why not use it as a ferry dock?” So until further notice, the boat launch will continue to be used as a ferry dock on the Monday, Thursday and Friday 7 to 7 schedule.  The balance of the normal schedule will be at the old dock with the 4-ton load limit.  This limited schedule is used to minimize wear and tear on the most expensive small boat launch on the West Coast.                           

– – Paul Davis

May 1981


         The new ferry dock is due for its long awaited reconstruction in September.  It will be shut down for a week or two while the new ramp and counterweights are installed.  The county engineer would like to know if the island residents would prefer to have the work done earlier – say in August ‑ if everything was ready ahead of schedule.  The L.I.C.C. Board of Directors recommends that the conversion be done as soon as possible to give the new new dock a good shakedown before winter.  Also the sooner we can forget about the old new ferry dock – not to mention the old ferry dock – the better we will like it.  (We cannot reasonably expect the old ferry dock to last through another winter). However, the Board does not speak for other residents.  If you have a definite opinion about scheduling the reconstruction, come to the meeting next Wednesday, May 27th, and be heard. It you can’t come, send a message with someone.                                                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                           ‑Paul D.

June 1981


           At our general meeting last month, we discussed the question of what would be the best time for the reconstruction of the new ferry dock — if there is a choice.  It is scheduled for September. but it is possible that everything might be ready ahead of schedule in August.  It was a consensus of the people present that the work should be done as soon as possible, and this information was passed on to the County Engineer who agrees that it would be wise to do so.  It is too early to know if the work can be done before September, but when it happens, the new dock will be shut down for four weeks.  During that time, we will be limited to a four ton load limit if the old dock holds up.                          – – Paul Davis

July 1981


        The actual date for the start of the reconstruction of the new ferry. dock is not completely firm at this writing.  It now looks like it will start on either September 17 or September 24.  Four weeks have been allowed for the job, which means it should be completed on October 15 or October 22.  If it doesn’t start on or about September 17, we will have an update in our next newsletter.  Remember that no heavy loads (over 4 tons combined weight) can cross during those four weeks.

September 1981


It’s kind of like giving up a baby.  We’ve had a lot of fun with the Hickory Dickory Dock, but this is scheduled to be the last news item about our infamous fiasco.  I guess there won’t be any tears shed when the thing is torn down next week.  Just in case anybody could forget why it: is being torn down and rebuilt, the darn thing is broken down again even as I write this.  I don’t have any details about the current problem, but who cares?

        During the 4 weeks while the new dock is being rebuilt, we will be using the old dock only, on the normal full schedule.  The load limit on the old dock is four tons combined weight so plan your heavy loads carefully and quickly.  The last ferry run on the Hickory Dickory Dock (assuming that they get it fixed) will be 7 PM Monday, September 21st.  They may run it later that. night – check with the ferry crew or the County Engineer.   The reconstruction will take one month.  The NEW dock is scheduled to be ready for full service on Thursday. October 22nd.  We’ll have to think of a new name for the new dock. With fingers crossed, we hope that someday soon we can refer to it as simply “the ferry dock”

                                                                                                                                                          – – Paul Davis

November 1981


         The Hickory Dickory Dock is dead.  Long live the Ferry Dock!  As anticipated in our last issue, the new ferry dock is working well.  We have been using it with minor interruptions as the construction crew puts on the finishing touches.  There will probably be very little news about the ferry dock in future issues. I’m not sure, but it may not be as aesthetically pretty as the Hickory Dickory Dock was, but from an engineer’s point of view it is beautiful in its simplicity.  It’s hard to Imagine what could go wrong with it.

Updated: 2021/10/19 @ 12:12 pm Gayle Lurenz

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