Some heavy lifting at Kincaid Park is bringing a nearly decade-long cleanup project to an end.

Joe Meehan, refuge manager for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge that sits below the bluff at Kincaid was at one time used as a city dump.

“Anyone who wanted to get rid of something, they went to this out-of-the-way place and threw it over the edge,” Meehan said.

For the last nine years, the Department of Fish and Game has been working to clean up the area. Meehan said volunteers helped with the process of removing hundreds of old cars, thousands of tires and tons of other debris.

Last fall, workers concentrated on what was left: parts of old cars that were once buried but which erosion had caused to start sticking out of the ground. Workers sheered off the metal and bundled it. On Tuesday, a helicopter came to fly more than a dozen heavy bales of metal out of the refuge.

Meehan said this would be the last day of the nine-year cleanup, even though there are still plenty of car parts visible in the bluff and on the ground. Meehan said removing them might cause more harm than good. He said excavating the bluff and removing the material could cost millions of dollars and the bluff might become destabilized in the process. For now, he said, the plan is to leave them in place.

“Come back in 500 years and these vehicles will have disintegrated into rust,” Meehan added.

KTVA 11’s Lauren Maxwell can be reached via email or on Twitter.

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