Local earth and environmental consulting company Hart Crowser announced that the American Council of Engineering Companies of Washington has awarded it the 2019 Silver Best in State Award for complexity of The Port of Tacoma Pier 4 Reconfiguration project.

The reconfigured dock now supports the largest container cranes on the West Coast and can accommodate some of the largest container vessels in the world, according to the company. These new ships use 35 percent less fuel per box than smaller vessels and produce around 50 percent less carbon emissions. The project, however, proved no small feat.

In order to effectively accommodate some of the largest shipping vessels in the world, Pier 4 had to be completely reconfigured and aligned with Pier 3 to create a single 3,000-foot-long berth. This required demolition of the existing pier structure and cutting back the shoreline to accommodate the reconfiguration.

The Pier also needed to meet new code standards for seismic design, and became the first major port development in the Pacific Northwest to follow the new standard. The process involved inserting pillars of rock into the ground to strengthen the soil and keep it from turning to quicksand in an earthquake, and to keep the underwater slope from failing in an earthquake.

“Hart Crowser was honored to be a part of the new Pier 4 — a world class marine cargo facility that will serve the Port of Tacoma, the Northwest Seaport Alliance, and the community for many years to come,” the company stated.