Port of Tacoma completes $32M wharf extension project

Officials from Hyundai Merchant Marine, Port of Tacoma, Washington United Terminals (WUT) and several guests Tuesday celebrated the completion of a $32 million extension of the WUT wharf on the Blair Waterway.

Speeches and a ceremonial ribbon-cutting marked the official opening of the new wharf. The construction project added 600 feet to the terminal’s existing 2,000-foot berth to support two “super post-Panamax” container cranes the terminal added in January 2009.

The 273-foot-high cranes can serve a ship 24 containers wide, making them among the world’s largest. Built by Shanghai-based ZPMC, the cranes joined four others at WUT with an 18-container-wide reach.

“This wharf extension provides WUT with the additional terminal capacity we need for our two largest container cranes, and allows us to handle two container ships at the same time at our facility,” said Y.I. Song, head of Hyundai Merchant Marine America, Inc. “It also gives us greater capacity to handle additional business at this terminal and accommodate the industry’s largest container vessels.”

The project began in December 2009 when Port of Tacoma Commissioners approved the contract with Seattle-based Manson Construction to extend the wharf.

“This project is a great example of how we work together with our shipping lines and terminal operators to make investments that create additional capacity for our future growth,” said John Wolfe, Port of Tacoma CEO.

Subcontractors on the project included Amaya Electric, Concrete Technology, Hayward Baker, Rhine Demolition, Scarsella Brothers, Skyline Steel and Tucci & Sons. Other companies involved in the project included Berger-ABAM, who did the engineering design, and GeoEngineers, who did the geotechnical design.