Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Navigation Improvements Studied at Tacoma

By Karen Robes Meeks

A feasibility study focused on improving navigation to the Blair and Sitcum waterways at the Port of Tacoma will soon be launched, thanks to a cost-sharing agreement recently inked between the Northwest Seaport Alliance and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The study will explore alternatives to better navigation, such as deepening federal channels that serve the port.

“With the signing of these documents today, we begin this project to deepen the South Harbor as part of our effort to develop what will be one of the deepest gateways in the nation,” said NWSA CEO John Wolfe. “We truly value our partnership with the Army Corps. It is vital for building a stronger trade gateway and keeping ship calls and the jobs they support in the Pacific Northwest and in the US.”

“The Port of Tacoma is a rapidly expanding major port,” USACE Seattle District Commander Col. Mark Geraldi said in a statement.

“Deepening the Blair and Sitcum waterways may result in cost and time savings, potentially lowering project operations and maintenance costs, as well as potentially allowing for the removal of draft restrictions for certain vessels,” he added. “This general investigation feasibility study will determine whether there is a federal interest in participating in modifying the existing waterways.”