West Seattle, Washington
As the Port of Seattle and The Northwest Seaport Alliance Terminal 5 project continues, we expect impact pile driving of steel piles on the uplands of Terminal 5 as early as today, April 3, and will continue intermittently into mid- or late May.
Pile driving is restricted to the following days and times:
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays;
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays;
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays and legal holidays for vibratory pile driving only;
No impact pile driving is allowed on Sundays or federal holidays (there will be no pile driving on Saturdays outside the fish window [Aug. 15 to Feb. 15]).
We also want to communicate some of the health and safety measures undertaken at the terminal due to COVID19. The contractor has notified us that these steps are being taken to maintain workplace safety:
-All workers are receiving health screening by a private contractor each morning before beginning work.
-Workers are driving to the job-site in their personal vehicles and have been asked not to carpool there.
-They also are encouraged to take breaks in their own cars rather than the break room.
-Extra cleaning protocols have been established for break rooms, sani-cans and construction equipment.
-Social distancing is monitored and enforced.
-Signage about best health practices has been placed throughout the terminal.
-If folks have any comments, questions, or concerns, please contact us through any of these channels:
Terminal 5 community phone line: 206-787-6886.
Find out more via the project website: t5construction.participate.online/
ADDED 5:43 PM: Many commenters wondered if the pile-driving posed any risk to the closed-for-cracks West Seattle Bridge. We asked SDOT. The agency’s reply:
We have been working with the Port of Seattle regarding their Terminal 5 construction work. The vibrations and energy from the marine pile driver diminishes exponentially the further it travels from the construction site, and is negligible by the time it reaches the nearest bridge foundation a third-of-a-mile away. Put another way, if this construction equipment posed a risk for the bridge it would be causing much greater damage to the buildings closer by.
In the ongoing analysis, SDOT adds that “we have partnered with an international team of engineering experts to conduct a comprehensive safety analysis which takes into account many external variables, including vibrations from nearby traffic, construction, and maritime activity.”
With Port properties in West Seattle, you might wonder how the COVID-19 situation is affecting shipping. Here’s the latest update from the Northwest Seaport Alliance (the ports of Seattle and Tacoma):
During this COVID-19 pandemic, The Northwest Seaport Alliance remains committed to protecting the health of our community and employees. Working closely with the United States Coast Guard and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NWSA continues to serve the needs of our customers as cargo-handling facilities remain operational. We are also following the CDC’s recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We are focused on maintaining the reliability of our gateway, reducing the potential of infections and positioning ourselves so that we can adjust in the event that further measures become necessary,” said NWSA CEO John Wolfe.
The CDC is the main federal response agency for maritime vessels. The U.S. Coast Guard has authority on commercial vessel traffic and crew members on board the vessels. Here’s the U.S. Coast Guard’s latest marine safety information update from March 9: https://bit.ly/2vgVEy9.
Vessels destined for a U.S. port are required to report to the CDC any sick or deceased crew/passengers during 15 days prior to arrival at the U.S. port.
Non-passenger commercial vessels that have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) or embarked crew members who have been in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) within the last 14 days, with no sick crew members, will be permitted to enter the U.S. and conduct normal operations, with restrictions. Crew members on these vessels will be required under captain of the port authority to remain aboard the vessel except to conduct specific activities directly related to vessel cargo or provisioning operations.
The NWSA and Washington state ports are in communication with each other and the United States Coast Guard through the USCG Area Maritime Security Committee (AMSC), which was established to be prepared for events such as this.
We have implemented daily enhanced cleaning protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus at Port maritime and marine maintenance facilities including:
Providing hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for self-cleaning of desks, equipment and NWSA vehicles.
Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces throughout facilities, including kitchens, handrails, doorknobs, offices, conference rooms and restrooms.
The Annual Breakfast, scheduled for March 25, 2020 has been postponed to a later date.
All non-essential domestic and international business travel for employees through April 15, 2020 has been suspended.
To increase physical distance among employees, the NWSA has implemented a flexible worksite policy for employees who are able to telework.
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.
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.
Among the highlights they mentioned:
Wondering how things are going with the Terminal 5 modernization project? Here’s a look:
The port provided that slide deck (also viewable here in PDF), after it was shown Friday to the Harbor Island Stakeholder Group. Major work has been under way for more than half a year, with one notable trouble spot noted so far, a problem with timber piles that put pile-driving on hold and now has extended it through next week, about two weeks past the originally planned stopdown for fish protection.
P.S. Got Terminal 5 questions? The Port will have reps at next Thursday’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting (Feb. 27th, 6:30 pm, Neighborhood House High Point, 6400 Sylvan Way SW).
Just in – the Port of Seattle‘s request to extend in-water work on the Terminal 5 project has been granted. Here’s the announcement:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have approved an additional nine working days to complete in-water pile-driving for the Terminal 5 project. In-water pile driving may now continue through February 28, and will occur on weekdays, not weekends or on Presidents Day.
The Port of Seattle requested the extension to make up for lost time that resulted from unanticipated site conditions and challenges with pile-driving equipment. Please contact Shultz.firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Without the extension, today would have been the last day in-water work was allowed prior to the February 15-August 1 fish-protection period.
As reported here last month, the Terminal 5 modernization project is trying to make up for time lost during a two-month-plus stopdown in pile driving, blamed on a problem with timber piles breaking. As part of the catching up, as previously announced, pile-driving is planned tomorrow. Meantime, a recent briefing for port commissioners indicated a proposal for pile-driving beyond the February 15th “fish window” deadline, and now we know how much of an extension they’re seeking. Port spokesperson Peter McGraw tells WSB:
The Port of Seattle and The Northwest Seaport Alliance have requested an additional nine working days beyond February 15, 2020 to complete in-water pile driving at Terminal 5. This work will occur during the week, and not on weekends or the President’s Day holiday…. The Port, The NWSA, and their contractor have made significant progress to recover lost in-water construction time. The extension request is the minimum necessary to complete installation of piling for this construction phase. If the request is approved by federal and state agencies, the port will notify the public immediately.
If you have questions/concerns, you can email email@example.com – also note that the Port is expected to have reps at the next meeting of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, 6:30 pm February 27th at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW).
Last week, the Port of Seattle announced plans for pile-driving on the Terminal 5 project in West Seattle this Sunday, February 2nd. That’s now been pushed back a week, to February 9th. Same hours, 9 am to 5 pm. And Saturday pile-driving continues each weekend TFN, as work continues to make up for a month and a half lost because of a problem with timber pile breakage.
As noted here a week ago, the Terminal 5 project is doing some weekend pile-driving to catch up from a month and a half lost to a problem with pile breakage. In addition to Saturdays – including tomorrow – port spokesperson Peter McGraw just sent word that a Sunday date is set too: Pile-driving is now planned for Sunday, February 2nd, between 9 am and 5 pm.
Earlier this week, we reported on the Northwest Seaport Alliance‘s disclosure that Terminal 5 pile-driving had been halted for a month and a half because the timber piles kept breaking. As a result of the time lost, the contractor will pile-drive on Saturdays too, tomorrow (January 18th) and every Saturday through the end of the in-water work window on February 15th. (As noted in our Tuesday report, NWSA was seeking an extension of the window, a time period when in-water work is less likely to affect migrating salmon, but a decision wasn’t expected for a few more weeks.) Saturday work hours, according to port spokesperson Peter McGraw, are 9 am-5 pm; he says there may also be some Sunday pile-driving, but dates aren’t set yet.
When Seattle and Tacoma port commissioners meet today as managing members of the Northwest Seaport Alliance, they will get a progress report on the Terminal 5 modernization project in West Seattle.
Documents for the meeting (above, or here in PDF) reveal that part of the work hit a snag – pile-driving for slope stabilization had to be put on hold for almost two months. The briefing document says the problem was that wooden piles were snapping against “larger than documented riprap.” This was discovered within two weeks of the start of pile-driving in September; it was suspended in mid-October when they “determined that incremental adjustments would not work.” Within a month, the summary continues, they had a solution: to “replace 14” timber piles with 20” steel piles,” which also meant 40 percent fewer piles. They resumed pile-driving on December 5th. The document does not mention whether or how that’ll add to the cost, but there’s a significant schedule effect: “The first in-water work window will end February 15, 2020, and we are requesting an extension from the regulatory agency due to the in-water work delay.” The duration of the extension won’t be known until next month. As for what led to the pile problem, the slide deck prepared for the meeting elaborates: “As-builts and specs (were) not available and underwater investigation (2014) looked at a small sample.”
Overall, the summary says “T5 Berth Modernization Program is meeting major milestones, on schedule and budget.” Another note of interest: The “quiet zone” (to reduce train-horn noise) is at 90 percent design, with a “stakeholder meeting” expected before spring. Today’s meeting, meantime, is at 11:30 am in Tacoma and will be streamed here; see location and other info on the agenda.
Quick note from the Port of Seattle: Weekend pile-driving work is planned at West Seattle’s Terminal 5 the next two weekends, December 21-22 and 28-29. “The weekend pile driving is required to maintain the construction schedule,” explains port spokesperson Peter McGraw. The first phase of the modernization project started last summer; pile-driving is limited to a certain window for in-water work.
Starting as early as January 2, 2020, and going as late as March 6, 2020, the pier at Jack Block Park will be closed for repairs to the pier structure and hand railings.
Work will generally be Monday through Friday, starting as early as 6:00 AM and will end as late as 4:30 PM.
Visitors should expect a reduction in parking spaces near the eastern restroom building, while the ADA parking space will remain available.
The plaza will remain open, but a small portion may be used for staging. We appreciate the public’s understanding while these repairs are being completed.
3:37 PM: Since our archives showed that repairs were made in spring, we asked port spokesperson Peter McGraw for information on exactly what will happen during this closure. His reply:
In the summer of 2019 we completed interim repairs; those repairs allowed us to open the majority of the pier.
A small portion of the pier which we closed about 2-1/2years ago remains closed. That portion will be open again at the completion of the upcoming project.
The upcoming project work includes repairing additional damage from the 2019 impact event that caused the summer 2019 closure.
The project will also complete needed repairs that are simply due to age of the pier.
Just in case this catches your eye tomorrow, the Port of Seattle sends this FYI:
Orion, the general contractor at Terminal 5, will be performing a water rescue drill on Thursday, November 14, from 11:00 am – 11:30 am at T-5’s north-end derrick barge, the St. Helens.
On this day after the end of Seattle’s 2019 cruise-ship season, the port invites your feedback on a proposed new terminal that would be closer to West Seattle than the two it operates now, at Terminal 46, parallel with the south end of the Highway 99 tunnel, as this map shows. Here’s the announcement:
The Port of Seattle is proposing to develop a new cruise terminal at Terminal 46 as part of a flexible marine transportation facility which will continue to support cargo and other marine operations. Analysis of the cruise market and cruise ship deployment supports the need of a fourth berth to meet the demand for Port of Seattle cruise services, which can no longer be met by the three berths at the Port’s two existing terminals.
Scoping is an early and open process for determining the scope of issues that will be addressed in the environmental review document, for soliciting input regarding the Proposed Action and reasonable alternatives, and for identifying concerns regarding the potential environmental effects of the Proposed Action. Comments received during Scoping will be reviewed and taken into consideration during the preparation of the SEPA analysis.
All comments are due no later than 4 PM, November 13, 2019, and may be submitted via:
Terminal 46 Cruise Development website (Click “Participate”) at: T46cruise.participate.online
E-mail to: SEPA@portseattle.org
In writing to: Laura Wolfe, Port of Seattle, Pier 69, 2711 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121
In writing and/or verbally at the three EIS Public Scoping Meetings/Open Houses: These meetings will provide opportunities to learn more about the project and proposed actions, and to provide input on the environmental review process.
October 30, 2019
South Seattle Community College
6737 Corson Avenue South
Building C, Room 122
November 4, 2019
Embassy Suites at Pioneer Square
King Street Ballroom
255 South King Street
November 7, 2019
11:30 AM-1:30 PM
4130 1st Avenue S
The new terminal is expected to be ready for the 2023 cruise season. The port also has issued a Request for Proposals to three teams that have qualified to compete for the contract to “co-invest with the port to build and operate the facility.”
No photo but if you look across Elliott Bay, that’s Grand Princess at Pier 66 downtown. When it leaves tonight – scheduled for 10 pm – that’s the end of this year’s Seattle cruise season, after more than six months. Grand Princess is in the middle of a weeklong round trip out of San Francisco; next stop, Vancouver, B.C.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Our area has an Aviation High School – so why not a Maritime High School?
Seattle Port Commissioner Fred Felleman talked up the value of jobs in the maritime industry, and the need to educate people about that, as part of his speech to the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce last Thursday. It was the Chamber’s annual “State of the Port” lunch meeting, outdoors at port-owned Jack Block Park.
We recorded his humor-peppered remarks, which in part reflected on his first four-year term on the commission, coming to a close as he runs for a second. (See the video here.)
He noted the park’s proximity to West Seattle’s Terminal 5, and recalled the controversy in which it was mired while he was running four years ago, as T-5 hosted vessels intended for Shell‘s Arctic oil drilling.
(From project fact sheet)
After a reader messaged us to say that “crazy vibrations have been rumbling our windows and house on the east side of Hiawatha,” we just verified with the Port of Seattle/Northwest Seaport Alliance that – as per this reminder last Friday – pile-driving has begun for the Terminal 5 project. Today is the first day of a six-month window during which in-water work, such as pile-driving, is allowed; the other six months, it’s prohibited “to minimize effects on migratory fish.” If you have a comment or question:
• Terminal 5 community phone line: 206-787-6886
• Email: Terminal5_Outreach@portseattle.org
Phase 1 of the project, including the north berth, is expected to be finished by early 2021; then the south-berth work starts in Phase 2.
The Port of Seattle/Northwest Seaport Alliance is reminding neighbors today that the window for pile-driving on the Terminal 5 modernization project is about to open. From the letter they’re circulating:
In-water work, including in-water pile driving, is limited to the period between August 15 and February 15 in order to minimize effects on migratory fish. Upland pile driving can and will occur outside the time frame for in-water pile driving.
The Terminal 5 permit conditions restrict pile driving to the following times:
• 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays
• 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays
• 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays and legal holidays for vibratory pile driving only
• No impact pile driving is allowed on Sundays or federal holidays (except for two Sundays within each August 15 to February 15 period, restricted to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
For comments and questions, the port offers these contact methods:
• Terminal 5 community phone line: 206-787-6886
• Email: Terminal5_Outreach@portseattle.org
It’s been a month since the project’s ceremonial groundbreaking (WSB coverage here). The first phase of the project is expected to be complete in 2021, and that’s when T-5 will resume handling international cargo.
Story, photos, video by Tracy Record and Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers
“It’s not every day we get to break ground on a half-billion-dollar project!”
So enthused Port of Seattle Commission president Stephanie Bowman during today’s ceremonial groundbreaking event for the megaproject that will modernize West Seattle’s Terminal 5.
No ground was broken during the event, which featured a half-hour of speeches under a tent on the dock followed by participants signing one of the concrete piles that will soon be driven as part of the project to make T-5 “big ship ready.”
Here’s video of everything that preceded the signing:
The Seattle/Tacoma partnership Northwest Seaport Alliance is the entity under whose auspices the T-5 project is happening, so NWSA CEO John Wolfe emceed the by-invitation event.
That big tent at Jack Block Park is where the Port of Seattle/Northwest Seaport Alliance invites you to visit until 11:30 am to get information/answers about the modernization project they’re about to start at nearby Terminal 5.
Easels are set up with the toplines on everything from project basics to the plan for handling concerns from air pollution to noise.
The entrance to the park is at 2130 Harbor SW, just southeast of Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). Groundbreaking on the project to make the terminal “big-ship ready” is expected next month.
Thanks for the inquiries about the helicopters over the north end of the Duwamish River. They were TV choppers checking out an incident about which we have just obtained information. A spokesperson for Matson tells WSB:
Two shipping containers – both empty – were knocked into the water this afternoon at Port of Seattle T-5 during discharge (unloading) of our vessel Mahimahi.
No injuries and no reports of damage. We’re working on recovering the containers now. Vessel operations/schedule were unaffected and apparently no impact on waterway navigation / harbor ops.
Matson moved its weekly Seattle calls to T-5 back in April as an interim tenant while the terminal modernization project gets going. (Speaking of which, tomorrow is the Jack Block Park open house for info about the project, 9:30-11:30 am Saturday.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
When the Terminal 5 modernization project starts construction next month, Pigeon Point is one of the neighborhoods that will have a front-row view.
So it was one of three major topics when the Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council met this week at Pathfinder K-8.
TERMINAL 5 BERTH MODERNIZATION PROJECT: Before a project recap from the Port of Seattle/Northwest Seaport Alliance, they reminded the PPNC of the pre-construction open house June 22nd at Jack Block Park, 9:30-11:30 am (first noted here a week ago).
Q&A was interspersed with briefing points.
First question was about shore power. No, ships will not be required to plug in. They hope they’ll choose to, “when they have the capability.” They now expect more than 50 percent of the arriving cargo vessels will be shore-power-capable, up from the original 30 percent projection. They are also looking at policies for making it available at other terminals.
What about light pollution? One row of T-5 lights has to be “adjusted significantly,” was the reply. They added that work already has been done to keep the lights aimed down.
On Monday, we noted we were checking on an “open house” plan briefly mentioned in the slide deck for the Northwest Seaport Alliance managing members’ Tuesday briefing on the Terminal 5 project. We’ve since confirmed with spokesperson Peter McGraw that the June 22nd open house is a public event, 9:30-11:30 am at Jack Block Park (2130 Harbor SW; map). The event annoucement says, “Members of the Terminal 5 project team will be on hand to discuss the project, including the scope and environmental mitigation measures for noise, traffic, and air emissions.” Work is expected to start by midsummer.