In August 2018, the Northwest Seaport Alliance and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) signed an agreement to share the costs of a feasibility study to analyze potential navigational improvements to the Tacoma Harbor.

Next week, the public is invited to attend one of two informational meetings to learn more about the scope of that study, which will evaluate the possibilities of deepening and widening the Blair Waterway, whether there is any federal interest in sharing the costs of a harbor modification project, and other issues.

At the meeting sessions, the public will be encouraged to share feedback on what they think should be investigated as part of the study.

The Tacoma harbor currently measures approximately 51 feet MLLW (mean lower low water), a measurement that is equal to the average height of the lowest tide recorded every day during a 19-year period.

port of tacoma, tacoma harbor, harbor deepening, northwest seaport alliance, Blair waterway

Courtesy of the Northwest Seaport Alliance.

According to a joint statement released by the organizations, a deeper harbor would eliminate transit delays due to tidal changes and allow larger, fully-loaded ships to more efficiently and cost-effectively visit the Port of Tacoma, currently the 25th largest port in the country based on tonnage.

“The Port of Tacoma is a rapidly expanding major port,” USACE Seattle District Commander Col. Mark Geraldi said in a statement last August. “Deepening the Blair and Sitcum waterways may result in cost and time savings, potentially lowering project operations and maintenance costs, as well as potentially allowing for the removal of draft restrictions for certain vessels.

Meeting details:

Jan. 17, 2019

  • Session 1: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Session 2: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Fabulich Center, Room 104

3600 Port of Tacoma Road