Terminal 5 progress report, Q&A at West Seattle Transportation Coalition

(Northwest Seaport Alliance photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Terminal 5 modernization project is on track to complete Phase 1 – the northern berth – by year’s end.

That’s what a Port of Seattle team told the West Seattle Transportation Coalition on Thursday night.

Their slide deck – mostly recent photos from the construction zone – is below; it’s similar, but not identical, to the one we published a week ago.

(Here’s the PDF version.)

Among the highlights they mentioned:

Last week they were putting in the first piles for the land-side crane rail, to support the huge new cranes that will be arriving. (The old cranes have “no real market,” they said, so they’re evaluating disposal options that will basically result in the cranes being scrapped.) The new cranes will be electric. Seattle City Light‘s major work starts June/July, “bringing in the big power transformer.” Shore power still is not going to be required, but they said the market is moving that way faster than they expected (California is requiring more of it, so that’s moving the market).

Questions/answers along the way led to these infobits:

-The tenant is not planning to use on-dock rail at the start, choosing instead to wait until volumes justify it.

-To minimize truck backups, all the signals on lower Spokane Steet will be improved, all the way to Admiral,”brand-new controllers with fiber infrastructure” to facilitate better timing, “much moe adaptive to traffic conditions.” The port is paying for extra cameras too; all that will be installed this summer. They’re also working with the tenant on a “gate queue management plan”; the terminal itself has room for about 140 trucks. They’ll be re-striping the bridge that leads to the terminal and will use a dashboard that will help dispatchers in deciding where to send trucks: “We don’t want people parked on the bridge.” Asked about truck-related air pollution, the port team noted the Clean Truck Program: “Our truck fleet is way younger and cleaner than the average in the state.”

-In the union contract, it’s stipulated that parking will be provided for the terminal workers (which could number up to 200 people on a busy day).

-The terminal will use the same security procedures as others – for example, every container that comes into the U.S. is scanned for radiation.

Also discussed at the WSTC meetng:

DUWAMISH SAFE STREETS UPDATE: Dr.Jeffery Perkins brought an update nn the Duwamish Tribe‘s ongoing work toward safer/better access to the Longhouse. On March 3rd, a walk is planned in the area. Since the Ride2 van servce was cancelled, it’s tough to get transportation to the Longhouse. If tourists can’t get to the Longhouse, the inequity continues, he said. If people can’t safely get to the Longhouse,”it’s unfair,” he said. SDOT will be part of the March 3rd event.

TRANSPORTATION BENEFIT DISTRICT: The extra bus service these city taxes buy is a “huge deal for West Seattle,” as WSTC chair Michael Taylor-Judd put it. “Right now we feel like we don’t have enough frequency of buses” – the thought of even fewer, if the TBD expires with no replacement, is difficult to imagine. They’re discussing whether to take a stand.

99 BUS LANE: Gatewood resident Mike Hatchett is continuing to pursue whether the lane is saving any time. No new developments since last meeting.

DELRIDGE LIGHT-RAIL STATION: New timelines according to Youngstown community advocate Dennis Noland, who said he met with Sound Transit, Metro, and Nucor last week. They’re starting to talk about how trck access to the steel mill could work with the Yancy/Andover option that’s part of what’s being studied.

The West Seattle Transportation Coalition meets fourth Thursdays most months, 6:30 pm at Neighborhood House High Point.

1 Reply to "Terminal 5 progress report, Q&A at West Seattle Transportation Coalition"

  • Jonathan Parrott March 2, 2020 (11:07 am)

    Even tho the Port says their truck fleet is the newest, there are several days a month when I arrive at the north end of Harbor Island at 7am, all I can smell is diesel fumes. And I can’t wait to see the mess the traffic will be, considering how well the Port currently does with trucks on Harbor Island as it is. 

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