RIPLEY - Some stabilization efforts at the former Quincy Smelter Works site were recently completed, and more is coming in the summer, Glenn Ekdahl said.
Ekdahl, supervisor of smelter-site owner Franklin Township, said new metal beams and trusses and metal roofs were recently installed in the former reverberatory furnace building at the site.
The contractor for the work in the furnace building was Wisconsin-based Miron Construction, Ekdahl said.
Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
Stabilization work took place this past construction season at the former Quincy Smelting Works site in Ripley, including capping and replacing mortar in the smokestack on the left, replacing metal beams and installing a metal roof on one building.
"They used local ironworkers on that project," he said.
Other work done during Phase I of the stabilization effort, Ekdahl said, included an inventory of items in and cleanup of the casting plant and reverberatory furnace building, cleanup and inventory of the carpentry building, which was destroyed in a fire in September, capping and replacement of mortar in the remaining smokestack, and securing of the machine shop by covering windows and enclosing the lock on the door to prevent theft and vandalism, which has been a problem at the site for years.
"Hopefully, they can't bust it off with a sledgehammer," Ekdahl said.
The cleaning and inventory in the buildings was done by Northwoods Environmental of Ontonagon and students from the Michigan Technological University industrial archaeology program.
"They catalogued everything in the buildings that were cleaned," he said.
Funding for the Phase I work came from a $285,000 federal Housing and Urban Development grant, Ekdahl said, and a $17,500 grant from a Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission grant.
"We needed that money to finish the project because it went over budget," he said.
The project went over budget because the metal roof was added to the reverberatory furnace building, Ekdahl said.
Also part of Phase I was the completion of stabilization documents by U.P. Engineers & Architects, Ekdahl said.
Phase II of the stabilization efforts will start in the summer and be funded by a $1 million federal Interior Department appropriation. That work will include assessment and stabilizing of five or six other major structures at the site.
"There's going to be some more (hazardous material) removed," he said.
Ekdahl said inventory of material in those other structures will also take place during the Phase II efforts.
Making the site more secure will also take place during Phase II efforts, Ekdahl said, including covering windows on the upper levels of the buildings.
"Of course, we're going to improve site security and safety," he said.
Work will be done this summer on a warehouse at the site, Ekdahl said, including removing a collapsed shed next to the building.
"We're going to put up a wall and enclose the warehouse," he said.
Bids for all the work planned for this summer will be taken in the spring, Ekdahl said.
Also this summer, Ekdahl said the Environmental Protection Agency will hire a contractor to put a ground cover on some formerly contaminated ground to the east of the site outside the fence.