On Jan. 6, 2023, James Dundas of Dundas Inc. is barely visible behind stump piles on property he is clearing near Railroad Road. Dick Shellhorn photo

Anyone who has lived in Cordova for very long knows about the acute shortage of housing and land.  For sale signs or advertising are hardly necessary when one becomes available — just a whisper and there is an immediate waiting list of people willing to pay top dollar for either.

Perhaps that is why the clearing and development of swampy land adjacent to the entrance to Railroad Row just off Second Street and the intersection with the Copper River Highway should come as no surprise.

As long as I can remember that land lay unused other than for a snow dump, and historic photos of Cordova show a vacant lot.

On Jan. 6, 2023, a Dundas Inc. excavator is used to remove stumps and muskeg on property near the end of Railroad Row. Dick Shellhorn photo

Indeed, the size of trees James Dundas of Dundas Inc. has been cutting down and hauling off from the site the past few weeks have to be evidence of its barren past.

Dundas indicated many of the massive logs have already been hauled away to be cut into lumber; others will be cut up for firewood.

An excavator has been used to dig out the massive tree trunks and root systems which were deemed unfit for the burn pile and had to be brought to the Mile 17 landfill.

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Dundas indicated there is considerable muskeg that will have to be removed before drainage and fill work must be completed.

When that is done, there are plans for a duplex or triplex to be built on the site.

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Dick Shellhorn is a lifelong Cordovan. He has been writing sports stories for the Cordova Times for over 50 years. In his Cordova Chronicles features, he writes about the history and characters of this Alaska town. Alaska Press Club awarded Shellhorn first place for Best Humor column in 2016 and 2020, and third place in 2017 and 2019. He also received second place for Best Editorial Commentary in 2019. Shellhorn has written two books about Alaska adventures: Time and Tide and Balls and Stripes. Reach him at dshorn44@gmail.com.