Crews get to work removing Japanese dock from Oregon beach

NEWPORT, Ore. - Contractors got an early start cutting up the Japanese dock that washed up on Agate Beach Wednesday morning. The dock has become one of the most famous pieces of tsunami debris to wash ashore to date since its appearance in June.

Ballard Diving and Salvage and subcontractors assembled a 100-ton lift capacity crane, established a safety zone around the work site, and excavated sand from around the base of the dock on Tuesday in preparation for the removal process to begin Wednesday afternoon.

The crews cut the 300,000-pound chunk of dock into 5 pieces and move it to yet another home. Workers used a diamond rope saw to cut through the concrete, steel and styrofoam, working from the bottom to the top.

Crews got an early start thanks to a favorable tide early Wednesday morning. The crews continued to use their diamond rope saw to make cuts, even as the tide washed in.

Crowds of people from all over flooded the removal site, hoping to soak in the excitement surrounding the relocation of the dock. One of the dock pieces will stay in Newport and be made into a memorial.

Each cut will take several hours -- the exact time isn't yet known -- and work will continue throughout Wednesday and Thursday.