Pier Side: Port’s Administration Building assessment and SAFE Boats lease top Thursday’s meeting

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Port of Tacoma's Pier Side e-newsletter

June 15, 2021

In this issue:

Port’s Administration Building assessment and SAFE Boats lease top Thursday’s meeting

At its public meeting on Thursday, June 17, the Port of Tacoma Commission will receive a briefing on the Port’s Administration Building assessment. Following the update, commissioners will consider authorizing $1.97 million for the work associated with the building’s roof replacement and $880,000 for the work associated with making critical repairs to the plumbing and the restrooms. The Administration Building was constructed in 1982 and remodeled in 2002.

Commissioners will also consider a three-year lease with SAFE Boats International at 401 Alexander Ave. They will also consider authorizing $1.1 million to repair the building structure at this address. They will also receive briefings on land use issues, including the Tideflats Subarea Plan and the City of Tacoma’s interim regulations. View the full agenda.

The public meeting begins at noon and will be streamed live on the Port of Tacoma’s website. You can also dial in at 253-617-4257 and use the conference ID 173 200 810#.

To deliver comments during the public testimony portion of the meeting, please send an email to comment@portoftacoma.com by 9 a.m. PT, Wednesday, June 16, 2021, that includes your name, the telephone number you will be calling from, and the agenda topic you wish to speak to. Please include “speaker” in the subject line. Written comments may be submitted to the same email address and will be provided to the commissioners.

Organizational Success

Port of Tacoma’s modernized website features enhanced capabilities

graphic of computer screens

The Port of Tacoma has launched a newly designed website at portoftacoma.com. The modernized website offers a mobile-friendly layout and an improved structural design for ease of navigation and visual impact.

Designed with accessibility and security in mind, the site features streamlined navigation and enhanced capabilities to meet the needs of all users, as well as sharper search capabilities.

Members of the public can connect with us at upcoming events and meetings and by exploring the Port through our interactive maps. They can also view the ongoing projects at the Port and within the region. The website also highlights the Port’s environmental programs, including remediation, air quality, stormwater, habitat restoration, in addition to the blog: Diary of a Port Biologist.

“The redesigned and modernized website will serve as a valuable resource for our customers and community members to learn more about the Port’s mission and the work we do to support economic development and job creation in Pierce County,” said Dick Marzano, Port of Tacoma commission president.

The website continues to provide access to commission meetings, which are live streamed and archived, and the ability to subscribe to the news, job announcements, contract and real estate opportunities sections. Find the full list of available topics.

The Port of Tacoma was the first port in the United States to have an online presence. The website, which originally launched in June 1995, has since undergone a number of upgrades to take advantage of advancing technology. The website was last redesigned in 2014.

graphic of three laptop screens

Economic Vitality

Tacoma Tideflats’ vital role in World War II shipbuilding

historical aerial photo of Todd Shipping

When Silverback Marine CEO Ian Gracey looks up at the rafters of Building 407 at the Port of Tacoma’s Earley Business Center, he’s reminded of an important piece of Tacoma and family history.

The huge trusses, hewn from slabs of old growth timber, are a reminder that the building that houses his rapidly growing workboat building business is decades old.

The structure stands at the end of the 180-acre arm of land between the Blair and Hylebos waterways, where Todd Shipyards Corporation set up shop in 1916 to build ships for the U.S. Navy during World War I.

In 1939, as the U.S. prepared for war, the company resurrected its shipbuilding efforts on the site with the creation of the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation. Read the full story>>

historical photo of people watching large ship being launched

Photo courtesy of Tacoma Public Library, Richards Studio D10090-25

Seventy48 hosts its third race from Tacoma to Port Townsend

photo of people paddling a boat with cranes in the background

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Seventy48 race earlier this month! More than 90 teams from across the country put their mental and physical endurance to the test by paddling the 70-mile stretch from Tacoma to Port Townsend in 48 hours.

The top finisher in the human-powered race completed the course in just under 10 hours. This was the second year the Port supported this event through our Local Economic Development Investment Fund.

Visit the Seventy48’s website for the full coverage of the event.

photo of people paddling a kayak and stand up paddle

Breakbulk terminal in Tacoma buzzing with activity

click on image to play video

A bird's-eye view of our East Blair One Terminal filled with all kinds of breakbulk cargo. Vehicles, including construction and agricultural equipment that don't fit into a container, are considered "breakbulk" cargo. They're some of the most common breakbulk cargo we handle, but we've also seen trains and helicopters shipped through the terminal in Tacoma! So far this year, The Northwest Seaport Alliance has handled 107,514 metric tons of breakbulk cargo—a 19.4% increase compared to the same period last year. Click on the image to watch the video.

Environmental Leadership

Port of Tacoma wins WPPA’s 2021 Environmental Stewardship Award

flying salmon

The Port of Tacoma received Washington Public Ports Association's 2021 Environmental Stewardship Award for our work on the Upper Clear Creek Mitigation Site project.

The 40-acre wetland restoration project included creating 4,600 linear feet of new creek channel, rehabilitating 26 acres of existing wetlands, and planting more than 145,000 native vegetation.

The Upper Clear Creek Mitigation Site provides essential habitat for meaningful salmon recovery. The site is now home to a wide variety of wildlife, including natural-origin salmon, trout, frogs and salamanders, herons, raptors, and several dozen species of songbirds and waterfowl. Learn more>>

aerial photo of habitat site

Transportation Advocacy

Pierce Transit receives state funding for new Tacoma Tideflats/Port of Tacoma service

Pierce Transit received state funding for on-demand public transportation service to the Port of Tacoma Manufacturing Industrial Center. The project will connect the Port and the Tacoma Tideflats areas with other local and regional transit services in Tacoma.

The Port of Tacoma currently has no local transit services, yet there are more than 8,500 jobs based in the Tideflats area. The concentration of jobs and high social equity populations in this area have resulted in underserved transit-dependent and choice riders.

Providing on-demand service in this area will assist companies with employee transportation needs, provide congestion relief and offer access to jobs and life services for those needing transportation connections. The goal is to use electric vehicles for this service, which will run in an area of high environmental sensitivity. Learn more>>

Weekend lane reduction on SR 509/Taylor Way, July 9-12

photo of truck traveling in construction site

As part of the City of Tacoma’s ongoing Taylor Way Rehabilitation project, state Route 509 at Taylor Way will be reduced to one lane in each direction from 8 p.m. on Friday, July 9, until 6 a.m., Monday, July 12. (The work was originally scheduled for June 11-14.)

During this time, the following restrictions will apply:

  • Left turns will not be permitted from SR 509 to Taylor Way or to 54th Ave E.
  • Access to SR 509 from Taylor Way will be right turn (southbound) only.
  • Access to 54th Ave E. (Fife) will only be permitted from northbound SR 509.
  • There will be no access to SR 509 from 54th Ave E. (Fife) during this work.

Please visit the City of Tacoma's website for the latest information on the road closure and detour plans.

Drivers may experience delays. We ask everyone to use extreme caution while traveling in the area.

Community Connections

Join Commissioners Meyer and Ang for coffee and conversation on June 23

commissioners Meyer and Ang

Join Port of Tacoma Commissioners Don Meyer and Kristin Ang for a virtual Coffee with Commissioners, Wednesday, June 23, from 4 to 5 p.m.

Register today!

This is an opportunity for you to get to know your Port Commission outside of the formality of the regular commission meetings.

gif of sculpture holding a hot coffee mug

Find us at farmers markets around Pierce County

photo of three people standing at a booth

We’re excited to be back at farmers markets around Pierce County this summer!

Stop by our booth to learn about the Port and pick up a free rubber duck! Hope to see you there!

Port volunteers repack rice to fight hunger

Wielding 50-pound bags of rice is no easy task, but this hardy team did just that Saturday morning on June 5.

Led by Port of Tacoma Commissioner Deanna Keller and Executive Director Eric Johnson, a team of Port employees, family members and friends volunteered to repack a total of 3,550 pounds of rice at the Emergency Food Network (EFN) in Lakewood.

EFN distributes the food to more than 70 sites throughout Pierce County to fight hunger in our community. So far this year, Port of Tacoma volunteers have repacked nearly 10 tons of food! Visit EFN’s website to find out how you can get involved.

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