TERMINAL 5: Quiet Zone construction set to start soon; shore-power debut delayed

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.

10 Replies to "TERMINAL 5: Quiet Zone construction set to start soon; shore-power debut delayed"

  • Jay March 22, 2023 (5:43 pm)

    Really looking forward to the shore power. The air quality on cold days makes me literally sick when biking past the harbor on my way to work.

  • anonyme March 22, 2023 (6:11 pm)

    Something really stinks here, and it’s not just dead fish.

  • Mark M March 22, 2023 (6:23 pm)

    Is the train noise we hear throughout west Seattle coming from this location and/or from SODO as well?curious if this will solve a majority of the noise we hear

    • WSB March 22, 2023 (7:11 pm)

      Some of the trains are to/from T-5; others are for the other businesses that use rail along West Marginal south of the bridge, and those won’t be affected.

      • Mark M March 22, 2023 (11:36 pm)

        Okay thanks. Every improvement helps. 

  • KM March 22, 2023 (7:04 pm)

    They might be the first international cargo facility install shore power in the region, but this isn’t new technology. Time to call in the experts.

  • CR March 22, 2023 (7:33 pm)

    I think I’ve lost 10 years of my life waking up to those horns in the middle of the night.  Any improvements are welcome.

  • Bob W. March 22, 2023 (8:26 pm)

    Podunk outfit (Port Commission) meets advanced alien technology (electricity). A year later… nothing has been done. Well, what do you expect?

    The State of Washington should look into reforming this Good Old Buddy organization.

  • Bill March 22, 2023 (8:53 pm)

    If Northwest Seaport alliance were responsible for those ships carbon credits, plus the fuel costs to run those generators, you can bet the shore power would be working just fine.  Don’t them them claim we have modern terminals with shore power until they fix this

  • Mike March 22, 2023 (9:23 pm)

    Shore power clearly is a low priority for the port.  

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