NOISE ALERT: Friday test at Terminal 5 will ‘sound like a half-second cannon shot’

ORIGINAL WEDNESDAY NOTE: If you’re anywhere within earshot of West Seattle’s Terminal 5 on Friday – you might hear this. The alert is from Peter McGraw at the Port of Seattle:

As you know, the Port of Seattle is in the process of making Terminal 5 ‘big ship ready.’ This includes a number of steps, including dredging and strengthening the dock for larger cranes, which requires installing new piles while we undergo our environmental impact statement (EIS).

Before any of this happens, we need to run a number of tests, which includes using what is called a rapid load test.

The first rapid load testing of piles as part of the design and permitting process for the Terminal 5 Improvements Project is expected to occur around mid-day on Friday, Jan. 22. An additional test may take place on Monday, Jan. 26.

The tests sound like a half-second cannon shot. The sound can be as loud as 145 decibels. A total of nine rapid load tests will occur between January and the end of March, with no more than one test occurring per day.

The test results may help reduce the number of piles required and the depth of pile installation, which in-turn would reduce noise associated with pile-driving during construction.

All tests will take place Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in compliance with the City of Seattle Noise Ordinance.

How loud is 145 decibels? On this list of “decibel equivalents,” that’s just below “Formula 1 race car full-throttle drive-by.”

FRIDAY UPDATE: We asked port spokesperson Peter McGraw if they have a time estimate – he says the latest is “between 12 and 12:30 pm.”

FOLLOWUP: New update, 12:50ish.

6 Replies to "NOISE ALERT: Friday test at Terminal 5 will 'sound like a half-second cannon shot'"

  • Salal January 20, 2016 (5:43 pm)

     They were driving piles yesterday for a bit. It was rather loud. The worst part of it is the ring after the strike. It resonates.. no doubt. My dog was hiding under the bed for quite some time.  As if this neighborhood needs more noise pollution.  Seems like a wortless upgrade if there not providing electric hook ups for these “big ships”. 

  • chemist January 20, 2016 (5:44 pm)

    I guess that explains why T5 wouldn’t make a good temporary RV park.  145 db

  • JoB January 20, 2016 (5:55 pm)

    thanks for the heads up. I will try to make sure that the pups and i are anyplace but here.

  • anonyme January 21, 2016 (6:15 am)

    Why is dredging and pile driving taking place BEFORE the environmental review has been done?  It appears that the Port is trying to get the nastiest, most damaging work underway before it’s officially revealed as being devastating to the health of Puget Sound.

    • chemist January 21, 2016 (8:33 am)

      Dredging would come later.   This announcement just reads like testing the piles that are currently there (I guess if they’re rotten or not firmly seated/going to hold their designed rate they probably “bounce” in the seabed a bit more).  This is like the mechanic starting the car brought in with the “bad engine” to hear what the bad sounds are and figure out what needs fixed.

    • EC January 22, 2016 (3:51 pm)

      Why is this devastating to the health of Puget Sound.  Facts, not emotion please.

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