Two updates related to the ongoing modernization work at Terminal 5 in West Seattle:
QUIET ZONE CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN: SDOT is overseeing the construction of T-5’s “Quiet Zone“ – which involves modifying railroad crossings in hopes of reducing the need for train operators serving T-5 to blow their horns. Back in January, we reported that the project had gone to bid and wasn’t expected to be complete before 2024. Today SDOT says the succssful bidder was Merlino Construction and that they could start work as soon as the first week in April, with construction lasting about a year.
NO SHORE POWER YET: Ships using T-5’s north berth still aren’t plugging in. Various reasons have been given for the delays; Melanie Stambaugh from the Northwest Seaport Alliance, which oversees the Seattle and Tacoma cargo operations, gave us another update this week:
Unfortunately, the system is still experiencing technical difficulties. As a reminder, this is the first international cargo facility in Puget Sound to install a shore power system, so we are still very much in the learning phase. The large number of stakeholders involved are anxious to get it working as soon as possible and The Northwest Seaport Alliance is doing all that we can to expedite the process.
Last time we checked in, the delay was attributed to “administrative” problems. But it’s something else now, Stambaugh told us: “We’re glad to say that the previous administrative problems have been resolved. Currently, the NWSA, alongside our partners, are working through some technical challenges with both the hardware and software.” Shore-power-capable ships originally were supposed to be able to plug in from the start of T-5’s modernized operations early last year.