With each scoop, another chunk of the Duwamish's dark history meets the daylight.
Dredging is in full swing in the river near Boeing's property and the South Park neighborhood. The work began amid fears it may actually stir up more problems than it solves. Monitors were installed to detect increases in turbidity. The rich pockets of arsenic, PCBs, heavy metals and other toxins, could be disturbed by the dredging and released.
But so far the monitors show the cleanup, which uses new satellite technology is coming along just the way they wanted it to.
Crane operators follow a grid to dig out scoops of the most contaminated hot spots. Each big bite is deposited onto a barge and taken to existing businesses on the Duwamish for unloading. The contaminated silt that dates back to before World War II is then loaded on rail cars and shipped off to be treated at specially designed landfills.
It's the beginning of the end of the layers of toxic sediment coating the bottom of Seattle's only major river, a piece of history that nobody is going to miss when it's gone.