Construction of the shoreside components of PacWave South started on June 1, 2021. Most of the activity will be focused on the Driftwood Beach State Recreation Site area in Seal Rock.

The project involves horizontal directional drilling beneath the ocean shore to pass subsea cables deep under the beach to the park. The project will not disturb the beach but will temporarily close the Driftwood Beach State Recreation Site to motor vehicles. Information about the park is online at http://bit.ly/driftwoodbeachoregon.

Regular construction updates will be posted here and this schedule will be regularly updated. If you wish to receive construction updates via email, or have questions or concerns, please send an email to dan.hellin@oregonstate.edu.


UPDATES

06/17/21 — The HDD Company crews have been busy over the last week finalizing the Driftwood site set up and starting to install the conductor casings in the first two bores. Conductor casings are large steel pipes that are installed along the bore path down through the upper layer of loosely consolidated, sandy material to the start of the deeper rock. The conductor casings help stabilize the borehole in this looser material and keep the drilling mud in the hole. Over 200 feet of 18-inch diameter conductor casing will be temporarily installed in each of the offshore bores.


06/09/21 — Site prep at Driftwood continues with more equipment and crew being mobilized to the construction area. The Superintendent and his crew are maneuvering all the various pieces into place and trying to make use of every inch of available space in the parking lot area. As expected, it’s a tight fit. The second drill rig has been set up and the plan is for drilling operations to start at the end of this week.


06/04/21 — The sound wall of shipping containers is complete (the photograph on the left shows the view from the beach), and the first of the two HDD drill rigs is now set up (middle picture).

We received some questions from neighbors about the loud metal pounding that was heard today. This will not be a regular occurrence. The noise happened when the large metal plate shown in the right hand picture was secured in place using the large metal stakes behind it. These are each about 8 feet long and needed to be hammered into the ground to anchor the drill rig. This will happen one more time in the coming days and will be repeated in several weeks when the drill rigs are realigned for the next bores. We apologize for the noise.

Important Reminder – The Driftwood parking lot is an active construction area. For obvious safety reasons, only authorized personnel are allowed on site. We realize people are very interested in the construction activity, but ask that you refrain from coming up the access road to the site. We are hoping to host an open house next month, where the public will be able to come on to the site, see the equipment and operations, and discuss the project with The HDD Company crew, PacWave team members and representatives from State Parks.


06/01/21 — After many years of design, planning and permitting, construction has started at Driftwood. Oregon State Parks initiated the closure of the Park early in the morning and the crew from The HDD Company started prepping the site and mobilizing shipping containers and equipment. The containers will be used to create a sound wall along the northern and western sides of the construction site.

Over the coming days, more equipment and personnel will arrive on site in preparation for the horizontal directional drilling activities, which will start later this month.


05/28/21 — NOTICE OF CLOSURE OF DRIFTWOOD BEACH STATE RECREATION SITE. The parking lot and access road at Driftwood will close at 8:00am on June 1, 2021 for the construction of the subsea cable landing for the PacWave South project. The closure will last for 8-12 months. While on-site parking will be restricted to construction vehicles only, pedestrian access to the beach will remain open, as will a nearby portable toilet outside the construction area. There are several alternative parks nearby including Governor Patterson and Seal Rock. Thank you for your patience during construction.


05/25/21 — Visitors to Driftwood may notice a number of survey flags have been placed around the parking lot. While upcoming construction activities will largely be limited to the existing paved areas of the park, the flags are to identify areas of vegetation that the construction crews need to avoid when installing fencing etc. Specifically, the flags identify areas of Kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), which is the host plant for the rare Seaside Hoary Elfin butterfly (Incisalia polia maritima).


05/10/21 — OSU and the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department (OPRD) held two Virtual Town Hall Meetings to provide updates and answer questions about the project. The presentation is available to view and download. A written summary of Questions and Answers from the May 10 Town Hall meetings is also available. Interested parties are welcome to view a recording of the presentation portion of Town Hall Meeting #1.