Pier Side: $7.2 million settlement agreement for former Sound Mattress property on Thursday’s commission agenda

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Port of Tacoma's Pier Side e-newsletter

Aug. 18, 2021

In this issue:

$7.2 million settlement agreement for former Sound Mattress property on Thursday’s commission agenda

At its public meeting on Thursday, July 19, the Port of Tacoma Commission will consider authorizing the Executive Director to execute a final settlement agreement of $7.2 million with Wyeth, a subsidiary of Pfizer, for costs associated with the cleanup of the former Sound Mattress property.  

The commission will also consider authorizing an additional $200,000 toward the cleanup plan for Parcel 103, and an action to authorize $691,000 for design and implementation of a cleanup plan associated with Phase 1 of the Parcel 15 (Portac) cleanup.  

Also on the agenda, the Commission will discuss, and may act on, Executive Director Eric Johnson’s annual performance review. View the full agenda

The meeting will be in-person, however, masks and social distancing is required by all attendees. Public testimony will be taken in-person at the meeting or by phone. 

The public meeting begins at noon and will be streamed live on the Port of Tacoma’s website. You can also listen in on the meeting by phone by calling (253) 617-4257 and entering the conference ID number: 827 980 714#. Written comments can be submitted to comment@portoftacoma.com.

Economic Vitality

Travel guide aims to improve accessibility at Mount Rainier

Accessible Tourism Vacation Planner

The Port of Tacoma’s Local Economic Development Investment Fund helped Visit Rainier create a travel guide for visitors with disabilities. The guide highlights accessible travel options to Mount Rainier National Park and provides detailed descriptions of facilities and amenities. Read more about the guide

Flashback to August 15, 1959: Port makes strategic land purchase

Front-page news

It was—quite literally—front page news. The front-page headline of the Aug. 16, 1959 issue of the Sunday News Tribune boldly proclaimed: PORT BUYS NAVAL STATION. The price tag? $2,125,000. 

That 182-acres of land purchased was the site of the old Todd-Pacific Shipyards in World War II. After the war, Todd-Pacific transferred the land to the federal government in exchange for some waterfront land they wanted up in Seattle. The federal government closed the facility, known as the Tacoma Naval Shipyard, in October 1958 and decided to surplus the land.

After nearly a year of on-again, off-again negotiations between the Port and the federal government, the Port’s three commissioners took a trip to Washington D.C. to try to reach a deal and with the aid of the state’s delegation, the negotiations were finalized. 

At about $12,000 an acre, this strategic land purchase has been a huge success for the Port and the community. The Port has been able to lease the land and buildings to a wide range of companies over the years and the investment has also brought new jobs and economic activity to our community. The Port converted some of the former shipyard land into a shipping terminal for Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE), which opened in August 1984. Originally called the Port Industrial Yard, the area was renamed the Earley Business Center in 1997 in honor of longtime Port of Tacoma Commissioner Robert Earley. 

Environmental Leadership

Northwest Seaport Alliance approves $560,000 investment in electric truck infrastructure at the Port of Tacoma

Electric yard trucks

Managing Members of the NWSA voted Aug. 4 to further environmental sustainability efforts by approving $560,000 to support the use of Electric Yard Trucks at the Port of Tacoma. 

Electric Yard Trucks, also known as terminal tractors, are cargo handling equipment that move containers to and from container stacks and rail cars. Rail Management Services will purchase the terminal tractors and charging stations, with the NWSA installing the electrical infrastructure to support the charging of the trucks. The electric tractors will be the first of their kind in the NWSA gateway. Read the full release. 

Organizational Success

Volunteers and partners turn Earth Gay 2021 into huge success

Earth Gay 2021

Dozens of volunteers joined Port staff and our partners at ForterraWashington Conservation VotersWashington Environmental Council and the Rainbow Center for a day of service in celebration of Earth Gay Tacoma 2021. This years’ service project at the Gog Le Hi Te Wetlands helped restore a vital habitat for birds, salmon, and other wildlife in the Puyallup River and Commencement Bay. 

Transportation Advocacy

Port of Tacoma Road Southbound on-ramp to close for 15 days, delays expected

Port of Tacoma Road

Construction crews building the I-5 Portland Avenue to Port of Tacoma Road Southbound HOV project will close the Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to southbound I-5 for 15 days starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Aug. 23. This work is part of a Washington State Department of Transportation project that builds a new southbound I-5 Puyallup River Bridge. 

During the 15 day closure, drivers will follow a signed detour using the Port of Tacoma Road on-ramp to northbound I-5, exiting at 54th Avenue East, then crossing over the freeway and back to southbound I-5.  

Community Connections

Annual boat tours scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 28, a few tickets still available

2018 boat tour

August 28 is shaping up to be busy on the Tacoma waterfront. In addition to our annual free boat tours, the Foss Waterway Museum is hosting the 27th Maritime Festival and The Museum of Glass is hosting a Pop-Up On the Plaza event. Destiny Harbor Tours will be running a free water taxi between the two museums to help you see all the sites.

There are only a few tickets still left for the Port of Tacoma boat tours, however, each tour will have a standby line. While we cannot guarantee you will get on a tour, if you would like to come down to the Seaport Museum on August 28 to enjoy the other festivities and take a spot in the standby line, we will endeavor to accommodate you. Inevitably there will be some people who are unable to show up for their scheduled tour.

Port volunteers repack 4,250 pounds of rice at recent event

EFN repack

A team of volunteers from the Port of Tacoma spent a couple of hours giving back to our community at a food repacking event Saturday, July 24. The team of Port employees, family members and friends repacked a total of 4,250 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.