Gov. Inslee visits Port of Tacoma for Husky Terminal improvement project update

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee was in Tacoma Monday to learn more about a project that aims to modernize two Port of Tacoma piers in order to handle larger container ships.

According to Port of Tacoma officials, ocean carriers are increasingly moving to larger ships in an effort to contain costs, remain competitive, and provide economies of scale to reduce the per-container cost of moving cargo across the ocean. Pier 4 at the Husky Container Terminal is becoming outdated in the face of modern containerized ship building trends. With wharves constructed at odd alignments and cranes unable to handle increasingly larger ships, Pier 4 is in need of improvements, according to Port of Tacoma officials.

The Port of Tacoma plans to demolish and reconstruct Pier 4 in alignment with the neighboring Pier 3 to create one contiguous 2,960-foot-long pier structure capable of simultaneously berthing two ultra-large container ships. The new pier structure will also be designed to accommodate more modern cranes needed to work larger vessels. In the end, the project aims to offer an improved facility better suited to meet the modern needs of international shipping. Port of Tacoma officials estimate nearly 2,400 jobs in Washington State are connected to the movement of cargo through the Husky Container Terminal.

The project is being paid for using a $10 million Remedial Action Grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology; a $30 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the United States Department of Transportation; and a $100.4 million investment from the Port of Tacoma.

More information about the project is available online here.