CONCORD (KCBS) – The U.S. Navy has started a project to remove more than 300 railroad boxcars, which were used to transport and store munitions, from the former Concord Naval Weapons Station.

After having the wheels and axles removed, the 343 boxcars are being loaded onto flatbed trucks and taken to a facility up Highway 4 in Pittsburg to be scrapped and recycled.

Navy spokesman Gregg Smith said there will be an increase in truck traffic along Willow Pass Road and Highway 4 in the coming months, as crews will make five to seven trips every weekday until November.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“This is one of the big steps that’s going to be required before we can turn over the former Concord Naval Weapons Station back to the community,” said Smith. “This is one of the largest recycling projects in Navy history.”

Smith said inspections found no hazardous materials left over from the munitions the boxcars carried and stored, but they’re simply too old, rusted and run down to be used again.

Concord Mayor Laura Hoffmeister said the process has come a long way since the base officially closed in 2005.

“It seems that progress is sometimes slow, but this project is moving forward in terms of getting the base cleaned up,” she said.

The city’s reuse plan includes parks and open space, as well as residential and commercial development.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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