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Friday, October 21, 2016

Seattle’s Terminal 5 Moves Closer to ‘Big Ship Readiness’

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Seattle has completed an environmental analysis of Terminal 5 and has released a Final Environmental Impact Statement on the project, which aims to modernize the cargo-handling facility in order to serve larger cargo vessels.

The proposed upgrades to Terminal 5 include wharf rehabilitation, berth deepening, electrical service and improvements to the upland portions of the property.

“With this Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Terminal 5, we are one step closer to making this prime maritime asset ‘Big Ship Ready’ and able to handle the largest container vessels working the market today,” Port of Tacoma Commission President and Northwest Seaport Alliance Co-Chair Connie Bacon said. “This region needs this terminal to remain competitive in today’s global economy.”

The Northwest Seaport Alliance is a marine cargo operating partnership of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

The FEIS evaluated potential impacts to earth, air, water, plants, animals, energy and natural resources, environmental health, noise, aesthetics (including light and glare), historic and cultural resources, transportation and public services.

“Based on public comment, we are including a number of improvements (to the FEIS), such as shore power for vessels, installing gates for noise and safety mitigation for rail, and significant traffic improvement measures,” Port of Seattle Commission president and Northwest Seaport Alliance Co-Chair John Creighton said. Mitigation measures for the project include construction of plug-in capability for shore power at two berths, tracking of air quality performance, establishment of a safety corridor between the Terminal 5 gate and the Duwamish river in order to minimize the need to use locomotive horns, required use of ambient-sensing broadband back up alarms, implementation of a Gate Queue Management plan, establishing a truck driver information system, comprehensive traffic signal improvements along SW Spokane Street and an operation noise management plan to ensure and monitor compliance with the Seattle noise code.

The FEIS can be reviewed and downloaded at the Port of Seattle website. More information about the proposed project is available on The Northwest Seaport Alliance website.

The Port of Seattle Commission is required to approve the recommended improvements during a future public session.