Work began last month to realign a pier at the Port of Tacoma into one continuous berth.
The reconfiguration of Pier 4, on the General Central Peninsula along the Blair Waterway, will allow two of the largest ships in the world to berth on the peninsula at the same time. Those large ships, often called post-Panamax vessels, can each hold the equivalent of 18,000, 20-foot-long containers, called TEUs.
Last month, contractor Manson Construction of Seattle began driving the first of 1,241 piles. Construction will continue on weekdays, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. before the annual fish migration season begins in mid-February.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance, comprised of commissioners from the ports of Tacoma and Seattle, approved the $141 million expense in April in its first vote together. Of that cost, the alliance members allocated $119 million toward the pier’s reconfiguration.
That area is under lease by Husky Terminal & Stevedoring, which will operate the terminal until 2046.
After the pier’s upgrade it will be able to support larger cranes, which are required to serve the largest ships in the world. The terminal upgrades also will allow ships to use shore electricity to power their ships when in dock.
The pier reconfiguration project could be finished by 2018.