With weathering and wear of the iconic wooden structures, the Port contracted WRK Engineers to examine the condition of the totems

While the Lelooska Totem Poles are beloved structures hosted at the Port of Kalama, time and weather exposure have taken their toll. As a result, the Port of Kalama contracted WRK Engineers to evaluate the structural integrity of the tallest of the wooden symbols standing 140’ high.

The Port engaged the engineering firm to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the tallest pole and its current ability to withstand strong winds and other weather. Early findings show impairment has affected the structural integrity of the pole—and thus the public safety of keeping it installed.

Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners last night declared the project to take down the 140’ pole an emergency action and instructed staff to immediately investigate options to remove the pole. An emergency action is taken when there’s a risk to public safety.

Staff will work with the engineering team to determine the best way to move the pole without creating further damage. The other totem structures will remain upright for now.

The Port is in close communications with the family who owns the totem poles to determine the best solution to potentially restore and maintain them.

The Port encourages visitors to be aware of contractor activity in the area around the structures and to watch for further updates to the plight of the Kalama icons.

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