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Barge launch delayed three hours by getting stuck on the skids, but eventually ZM 277 makes it into the Willamette River.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JAIME VALDEZ - The bow of ZM277 before launching backwards into the river.

The final barge to be built at Zidell Marine's South Waterfront fabrication building was launched into the Willamette Friday afternoon.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - ZM 277, Zidell Marine's last barge to be built at South Waterfront before it is developed for shops, apartments, parks and offices, a few hours before launch Friday June 16, 2017.

After speeches by staff and dignitaries, the June 16 noontime launch was delayed.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JAIME VALDEZ - ZM277 launches. Fragments of the wooden platform it rode on float in the river.

The metal plates holding it in place were cut, as usual, but the barge was stuck.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - ZM 277, Zidell Marine's last barge to be built at South Waterfront, slid quietly into the Willamette at 3.15 pm on Friday June 16, 2017.

Workers tried to fix the blockage, then went to lunch.

Most of the crowd gathered on the banks wandered away. At 3 p.m. staff tried again and at 3:15 p.m. the craft almost imperceptibly began its passage down the ramp. It slid quietly into the river, with barely a splash.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JAIME VALDEZ - Portlanders waited up to three hours for the launch in a VIP area cordoned off inside Zidell Marine, and others outside the fence on the greenway beside the river.

Two tugs greeted ZM 277, the 277th barge built there, and turned it around to face downriver.

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - ZM 277, Zidell Marine's last barge to be built at South Waterfront, was turned around by two tugs pressing on its side on its launch Friday.

The barge will remain in Portland for two weeks for final work and then go to work in the Puget Sound.

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