Friday, May 29, 2015

Grays Harbor Signs Harbor Improvement Agreement

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Grays Harbor signed a project partnership agreement for a harbor navigation improvement project on May 26 at the US Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District Headquarters.
The Grays Harbor Navigation Improvement Project plans to deepen about 14.5 miles of the 27.5-mile channel from the currently maintained depth of -36 feet to the fully authorized depth of -38 feet. The deepening would occur from the South Reach upstream to Cow Point Reach where the port’s Terminal 4 is located.

The project’s purpose is to improve the efficiency of deep-draft vessel navigation in Grays Harbor. The port and Army Corps of Engineers say the project is needed to alleviate large vessel restrictions imposed by the insufficient channel depths. Ship transportation in the existing upstream channel is limited by depth, they say.

Port commissioners Jack Thompson and Stan Pinnick, port Executive Director Gary Nelson and International Longshore & Warehouse Union Local 24 President Mike Brown were joined by US Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) and Col. John G. Buck, Commander of the Seattle District USACE, for the ceremonial signing of the agreement, which allows the project to begin construction this fall.

“Grays Harbor provides an important link between United States products and international markets,” Nelson said. “This project directly supports hundreds of family-wage jobs and ensures our position to serve our diverse users well into the future.”