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Crews Clearing Out St. Paul Log Jam, Could Complete It Today

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(credit: CBS) Kate Raddatz
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A log jam at Raspberry Island near downtown St. Paul is finally being cleared.

There had been a dispute between the city of St. Paul and the St. Paul Yacht Club as to who was responsible for cleaning up the debris.

The buildup is on a national waterway, touching public and private property. But Yacht Club members like Tim Ling think it’s the city’s responsibility.

“We would have happily helped if it were on our side, but it’s not. It’s on the bridge,” Ling said.

But the city stepped in on Friday morning. As the logjam kept growing, the weight was pushing on the bridge. It eventually got to a point where public safety was at risk because of the pressure against the bridge’s infrastructure.

Boater Jim McGowan said he had other plans for the holiday, but found the log jam removal more entertaining.

“Amazing for us to just watch it happen — I’ve never seen it and I’ve been in this spot for 12 years,” he said. “I’ve never seen that happen before. This beautiful bridge has been perfect until this year.”

Yacht Club members were asked to move their boats and head to dry land during the removal process. Several workers were standing on the docks to push away any debris that might hit the docked boats.

The contractor cleaning up the debris is paid by the hour. The estimated cost is anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000.

Crews should be done eliminating the massive pileup by the end of the day Friday.

Because the debris is on a national waterway, the U.S. Corp of Engineers is involved in the removal process.

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