Friday, October 25, 2019

Port of Everett to Acquire Former Mill Property

By Karen Robes Meeks

This week, commissioners at the Port of Everett moved forward on plans to acquire 77 acres from Kimberly-Clark Corporation for $33 million.

The commission voted to authorize Port CEO Lisa Lefeber to engage with Kimberly-Clark on a Purchase and Sale Agreement, which includes 58 acres previously used as a former mill and 19 acres of tidelands. The port anticipates closing the sale by the end of this year.

The agreement calls for Kimberly-Clark to do upland cleanup work and remove crushed materials using the state of Washington’s Department of Ecology’s approved methods. According to the port, the company will also give the port a $17 million credit “to address environmental impairments in the 12 acres of tidelands in the East Waterway.”

For its part, the port will provide Kimberly-Clark clean fill material to backfill the site after the crushed material is taken away. The work is set to start no later than April 1, 2020 and to be completed by the end of 2020. No current site leases will carry forward with the acquisition.

“I am very pleased the Port and Kimberly-Clark were able to reach a negotiated agreement,” Lefeber said. “Our respective teams did amazing work in a short amount of time to make this very complex land transaction come together. This property is critical to support our working waterfront for decades to come, and we will continue to work expeditiously to restore family wage jobs to the site, enhance trade and ensure compatible land use with Naval Station Everett.”

Bellingham Addressing Storm Damage

By Karen Robes Meeks

Over the next several weeks, the Port of Bellingham will be fixing three shoreline areas that were ravaged by a massive storm. Some of the repair will be happening at night during low tide.

The work includes “armor rock removal and stockpiling, rubble removal, and rock re-placement along the identified shoreline areas, with some limited asphalt repairs at the Squalicum and Fairhaven locations,” according to the port.

Repairs are scheduled to take place from Oct. 22 to Nov. 4 at the Squalicum Location, Nov. 5–14 at the Hilton location, and Nov. 15–30 at the Fairhaven location.

Coos Bay Tunnel Project Moves to Phase Two

By Karen Robes Meeks

The first phase of the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay’s railroad tunnel rehabilitation project has been completed. The $19.9 million project, which began in May 2018, is scheduled in two phases. The initial phase – which cost $5 million – called for finishing structural improvements to ensure the long-term safety and reliability of nine tunnels along the Coos Bay Rail Line, a significant mode for cargo transport in the region.

Meanwhile, work on the second phase has already begun, which entail improvements to drainage and track in six tunnels. Phase Two is expected to be done in the first quarter of 2021.

“Thanks to the financial support from federal and state agencies and hard work of our contractors, Phase I of the Tunnel Project was a success,” said Project Manager John Buckley. “We are excited to have begun Phase II and see this project to completion for the benefit of our rail customers and regional economy.”

Port of Seattle Partners with WeWork

By Karen Robes Meeks

Washington’s first maritime accelerator to assist and develop local maritime firms has been launched by partners Washington Maritime Blue, the Port of Seattle and WeWork Labs.

“The Port of Seattle is committed to investing in maritime innovation, drawing from the diversity of our region’s expertise, to create jobs of the future that fuel a thriving economy which advances our understanding and protection of the marine environment and all those dependent on it,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman. “I look forward to being inspired by the first round of applicants for the accelerator that I’ll be reviewing in my capacity as Vice President of the Port of Seattle Commission and Board Member of Maritime Blue.”

WeWork Labs is seeking applicants who are interested in creating solutions that help the maritime economy. Applications need to be submitted by Nov. 18.

The Maritime Blue advisory committee will review and choose 10 startups that will take part in the first accelerator cohort, set to begin in January 2020.

Chosen companies will benefit from a four-month intensive programming from WeWork Labs\. They will be housed at WeWork Labs and get access to WeWork Labs’ global network of mentors and advisors.

In April, the participating startups will pitch their ideas to the public, investors and government officials.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

San Diego to Test LED Lighting

By Karen Robes Meeks

Efforts to illuminate the San Diego-Coronado Bridge just got brighter.

The Port of San Diego recently received approval from the California Coastal Commission to temporarily put in LED lights on four of the bridge’s mid-span piers for a one-week test to be performed between dusk and midnight, the port confirmed.

The test is part of a fact-finding mission that will be needed to commence the project’s environmental review and hopefully lead to a permanent bridge lighting display.

“Our vision for this project is to inspire and connect people to San Diego Bay through the fusion of art and technology,” said Commissioner Marshall Merrifield, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “We’ve achieved another important milestone in this project that, if ultimately approved, would transform the San Diego-Coronado Bridge into a signature, iconic artwork for our urban landscape.”

Port of Seattle Open House

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle will host the first of two community open house events on October 22. Attendees will have the opportunity to look at the port’s budget for the upcoming year and its five-year capital development plans for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the Maritime and Economic Development divisions

According to the port, the plans outline the port’s blueprint to further invest in infrastructure, maximizing efficiency and service to benefit the economic and environmental vitality of our region.

An initial plan on how to pay for the Maritime and Economic Development division capital program will also be presented to the commission. The event will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the port headquarters located at Pier 69, Atrium, 2711 Alaskan Way in Seattle, Wash. Attendees are asked to sign in at the front desk.

Everett Dredging Underway

By Karen Robes Meeks

Maintenance dredging of the Everett Harbor channel and Snohomish River got underway this month.

The US Army Corps of Engineers is partnering with Port of Everett on the $1.5 million project. The work involves the dredging of 60,000 cubic yards of material from the upper channel to be placed on a nearby upland site, as well as 40,000 cubic yards from the lower channel. The latter will be put on the west shore of Jetty Island, an island made of sediment from the Snohomish River and owned by the port. The work should be completed by the end of the year.

Olympia Seeks Citizen Advisors

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia Commission is looking for a few residents to serve on the port’s Citizens Advisory Committee, a volunteer group of nine to 13 people who meet every month to assist and lend guidance to commissioners on projects and programs. The committee was formed in 1994. Interested Thurston County residents must submit their application by Nov. 3.

Applicants will be chosen based on “community and economic development activities; volunteer, board or committee experience; work experience; experience or knowledge of the port; and reasons for serving,” according to the port.

Applications will be reviewed by the Port Commission President, Executive Director and the Chair of the Citizen Advisory Committee. Recommendations to the commission are expected to be made in mid-December.

Visit to apply. For more information, visit or call 360-528-8014.