Officials with the Port of Tacoma and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District will hold a public informational meeting on January 17 to outline the feasibility study and environmental assessment for potential improvements to deepen and widen the Blair Waterway under the Tacoma Harbor study.
The Port of Tacoma ranks as the 25th largest U.S. port by tonnage (2016 total tonnage), and as part of The Northwest Seaport Alliance, is the fourth largest container gateway in North America. In the past decade, ships calling at the Port have increased in size and draft at a dramatic pace. The Blair Waterway is currently authorized to -51 feet. Larger vessels have draft requirements deeper than -51 feet when fully laden, and therefore face tidal delays and other transportation inefficiencies when arriving and departing.
The Corps-Port general investigation feasibility study will determine whether there is a federal interest in participating in a cost-shared modification of the existing Tacoma Harbor.
Interested members of the public are invited to attend one of two sessions on January 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 5 to 8 p.m., at the Fabulich Center, Room 104 3600 Port of Tacoma Road Tacoma, Washington. The sessions will include a one-hour open house and a 30-minute presentation.
Officials will explain the scope of the study, the Corps general investigation study process and opportunities for public involvement. The Corps and port are seeking feedback on issues the public would like analyzed during the alternatives evaluation process.