UPDATE: ‘Shoreline Substantial Development’ approvals for proposed Terminal 5 expansion

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(July 2016 aerial of West Seattle with Terminal 5 at left, shared by David)

12:48 PM: From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, a notice of approvals for the proposed expansion of Terminal 5 in West Seattle: It’s the “conditional grant(ing) of permission for “Shoreline Substantial Development” to both expand the terminal and do the dredging necessary for the project – you can read the full decision here. Other approvals are needed – and we have an inquiry out to the port to ask about the project’s overall status; in the meantime, as the notice says, “This decision is appealable to the Washington State Shoreline Hearings Board until at least 4/24/2017,” and this page explains how. The last public discussion of the project was at a City Council meeting in January; at that time, the projected completion date was described as 2020.

2:59 PM: Here’s the statement so far from the Port. We’re still trying to get information on what remains for a final go-ahead:

Today the City of Seattle published the Master Use Permit (MUP) Analysis and Decision with Draft Conditions for the Terminal 5 Improvements Project proposed by the Port of Seattle and the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA). Publication of the MUP Analysis and Decision is an important but routine step for large, public capital projects like Terminal 5.

The Port and NWSA have worked with the City to utilize best practices to mitigate and track air quality and noise issues related to renewed operations at T-5, including a commitment to provide shorepower for ships calling at Terminal 5. Best practices will also be incorporated around gate management, truck parking and signal optimization on Spokane Street that will manage and reduce congestion, along with air and noise concerns. Further, the Port and the NWSA are committed to being good neighbors by minimizing train horn noise with a “quiet zone.”

The Port and NWSA are moving forward with the Terminal 5 project in order to enhance and maintain the competitiveness of our trade gateway, providing economic benefits including jobs, market access for exports grown and made in the region, and imports beneficial to the regional and national economy.

ADDED MONDAY NIGHT: The answer to our followup question about what’s still ahead, from port spokesperson Peter McGraw: “We will complete the acquisition of building permits and Army Corps permit. We will be looking to fund the project later this year.”

11 Replies to "UPDATE: 'Shoreline Substantial Development' approvals for proposed Terminal 5 expansion"

  • Neighbor April 3, 2017 (1:24 pm)

    Wake up West Seattle.

    Everytime one of the super max ships docks you and your children will be getting dosed with the pollutants equal  to 44,000 cars in addition to the diesel exhaust from the trucks. It’s double plus good when two ships are docked!

    Good place to raise a family huh? Good place to allow shippers profits to supersede your family’s health. 

  • Swede. April 3, 2017 (1:54 pm)

    Can see they need to expand it, are working over capacity right now. Been several (3-4) ships docked there the last few years, non wich actually had any goods. 

    Convert it to a neighborhood with housing. That’s needed and it’s a great location.  

  • Jim April 3, 2017 (5:23 pm)

    The trick is in the deceptive phrasing.  “Providing” Shore Power is not the same as having the ships “use” the Shore Power.  Read the fine print in there and you’ll see there is a clear lack of “commitment” to have Shore Power capable ships plug in.  We will still have large ships running large diesel generators 24/7 at the dock even though they could easily hook up to the plug to stop the noise and air pollution. 

  • ballardite April 3, 2017 (6:23 pm)

    I have only seen the cranes at the port move once in all my years living in Seattle.  Do they only unload at night?  On double overtime?  

    • Stan April 3, 2017 (9:19 pm)

      When the booms  (the long arms on the cranes) are down they are unloading/loading the ships. Go check it out when they are down. They are very quick and ships turn in an out of the harbor usually with in a day, time is money. If you want to see it, go to Jack Perry park when a ship is at Terminal 18 and you’ll see it up close and personal.  It’s really impressive how quickly they can unload & load a ship.

  • K. Davis April 4, 2017 (9:54 am)

    Port jobs matter.  They are relatively high-paying and put money into our economy.  A vital port is part of our economic health.  But to Jim’s point, I hope that use of shore power is required and not merely optional.  This seems like it should be a no-brainer.  That said, expand T5 and do this project – it benefits our economy at a time we want to stay growing and diverse and robust. 

    • sleepernw April 5, 2017 (11:24 am)

      T 5 is coming back but some or most jobs will be done by automated robots like Long Beach ..  If T 46 continues to struggle now don’t see more jobs coming  it will be consolidation instead.    

  • Jim April 4, 2017 (3:26 pm)

    I’ve said it before on here:   Shore Power is a job creator as well as being environmentally friendly.  It requires some extra labor input to manage it.  Those are the well-paying Port jobs that K. Davis mentions.   And that is why the ships don’t want to hook up to the plug.  They don’t want to pay the labor costs! 

    So, the Port of Seattle and the Northwest Seaport Alliance, who are *continuously* reminding us how they create good jobs for the region, need to step up and max out on Shore Power! 

  • Marti April 15, 2017 (11:42 am)

    For the next 9 years only 30% of ships will have to be plugged into shore power. That  means that 70% will be spewing out the toxic gases that will make Seattle residents ill. The  well paying jobs don’t do any good if residents are at risk of breathing deadly air. OUR TAXPAYER DOLLARS ARE BEING USED TO POISON OUR AIR. The port is not providing solutions or being a good citizen. This expansion is unnecessary and they will likely start the construction BEFORE they have a tenant.

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