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Video: William A. Irvin to Return by Mid-October

Sep 28, 2019 06:58AM ● By Editor

The Irvin is currently in dry dock at Fraser Shipyards.  Photo: WDIO-TV file

By Baihly Warfield of WDIO-TV - September 27, 2019

The repair project on the William A. Irvin should soon be wrapping up. Soon, crews will prepare to move her back to the Minnesota Slip. 

Currently, the ship is in dry dock at Fraser Shipyards. There, they are finishing inspecting and repairing deteriorated rivets. Workers also found some small cracks in the hull that need fixing. 

Chase Dewhirst with AMI said they hope to bring the Irvin back during the first or second week of October. 

The Irvin is currently in dry dock at Fraser Shipyards

DECC Executive Director Chelly Townsend said people should know that when the Irvin is back in Duluth, it may not look all that different. Most of the repairs and painting is below the water line. But they had a good opportunity to do it. 

"If you remember why the boat had to come out, it was because of the pollution remediation. We wouldn't have moved it on our own. We would have left it there. We didn't have the budget to move the boat," Townsend said. 

The parts of the ship above the water line will be painted next year. 

The DECC and AMI Consulting have begun to look ahead to returning her to the Minnesota Slip. 

"When we were taking it out, we had a general idea how much clearance we had between the slip bridge and the vessel itself. Well, that kind of is known now since we have done it once before. So it's a lot easier to do that," Dewhirst said. 

Bringing the ship back through the pedestrian slip bridge requires calm and clear conditions in the harbor, so an exact date is weather-dependent and has not been set.

Townsend said they will plan a party next summer when the Irvin reopens. 

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here