Seattle plan eyes box growth

Seattle plan eyes box growth

The Port of Seattle Commission voted Tuesday to begin the planning and permitting process for a 700-foot pier extension at the port's Terminal 5 container handling facility. The extension would bring the total length of the pier to 3,600 feet.

The $1.6 million planning and permit process will define the scope of the project, and include environmental review and permit applications required by state, local and federal regulations.

The port's tenant at Terminal 5, Eagle Marine Services, has not yet requested additional berth space, but container volume projections indicate that an additional berth will likely be needed.

"Starting this work now will allow us to move faster when our tenant decides the additional vessel berth is needed," said Port of Seattle Chief Executive M. R. Dinsmore. "We've seen growth in container volumes over the past couple of years and through June of this year volumes are five percent higher than 2003. The long term trend is for continued growth and we want to be prepared."

Steamship lines calling at Terminal 5 include APL, Australia New Zealand Direct Line, Columbus Lines, Far Eastern Shipping Co., mpany, Hyundai Merchant Marine; MOL, P&O Nedlloyd, Westwood Shipping Lines; and Alaska Ocean Seafoods.

The Port of Seattle has been active in expanding its facilities in the last few years. A $71 expansion project at the Port's Terminal 46 container facility, which serves Hanjin Shipping, will be completed this fall.

The terminal has three new container cranes, a new truck gate with optical character recognition technology, new terminal buildings, and an upgraded pier and fender system.