Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Test Pile Driving to Begin at Seattle Port

By Mark Edward Nero

Contractors will begin driving test piles at Terminal 5 in Seattle the first week of January, with the installation and resulting noise expected to last through March.

The pile driving and testing is part of the design phase of a terminal improvement program. About 27 piles are expected to be installed at the edge of the Terminal 5 wharf. Installation and testing is planned to take place between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Test results could help reduce the final number of piles required and refine the depth of installation during berth construction, which the port says could help save money and reduce construction-related noise.

Once installed, the port says some of the piles will be tested using a method known as rapid-load testing that sounds like a half-second cannon shot. The sound can be as loud as 145 decibels at a distance of 50 feet. Nine tests are planned, with no more than one test per day.

Planned dock enhancements are expected make the terminal capable of accommodating heavier cranes and provide deeper drafts to handle the megaships cascading into the trans-Pacific trade.
“These terminal improvements are aimed at helping us compete in a changing marketplace to support the jobs we have and create new ones, while continuing to drive economic benefits for our communities and customers,” the port said in a Dec. 21 news release.

Questions about the pile driving and testing may be directed to (206) 787-6886 or Terminal5_Outreach@portseattle.org.