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Port of Port Angeles Pursuing Cargo Terminal Dredging

Posted on April 11, 2017

By Jesse Major, Peninsula Daily News

Port of Port Angeles commissioners told port staff to pursue an estimated $700,000 berth maintenance endeavor for its cargo terminal, Terminal 3.

The plan would be to dredge about 6,300 cubic yards of material from the berth area, bringing the sea floor to about 45 feet below sea level.

The terminal was last dredged to 45 feet below sea level in 1976, but throughout the past few decades, sediment has built up, causing concern for vessel captains.

Compounding the issue, the port has seen a trend for large bulk cargo vessels with deeper drafts, Chris Hartman, the port’s director of engineering, said during the commissioners’ meeting Tuesday.

The pier is used by two companies to transport debarked logs from the Olympic Peninsula to markets in China.

Last year, 15 cargo vessels were loaded at the pier and transported 84 million board feet of logs overseas, providing $2.35 million in revenue for dockage, wharfage and service, Hartman said.

He presented four options for what to do with the dredged material, ranging from disposing of the sediment in water to disposing of it upland. Those options were paired with whether to dredge down to 42 feet below sea level instead of 45 feet below.

The hope is that by dredging down to 45 feet, the port won’t need to dredge the berth again for another half-century, Hartman said.

“Let’s do a real project and do it for the long term,” he said.

The option commissioners approved would have dredged material placed on port property.

The two in-water proposals were likely not possible due to the ongoing Port Angeles Harbor sediment cleanup, Hartman told port commissioners.

The other upland option, estimated to cost $2.5 million, would have had the sediment disposed of at a landfill in Eastern Washington or Oregon.

Hartman said Terminal 1 has a greater depth and hasn’t been a concern.

It was estimated the project would take about two weeks and that permitting for the project will take about eight months.

Source: Peninsula Daily News

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