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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has released a draft of its Tacoma Harbor Navigation Improvement Project feasibility report and draft environmental assessment (EA).

The Corps’ draft report and draft EA is a study investigating of dredging the Blair Waterway at the Port of Tacoma. The Corps intends to use the study to improve navigation and achieve transportation cost savings for vessels at the Port.

The Blair Waterway is currently authorized to -51 feet, but, in the past decade, ships calling at the Port have increased dramatically in size and draft, causing tidal delays and other transportation inefficiencies.

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA), which includes the Port of Tacoma and Port of Seattle, is expanding at a rapid rate and is now ranked as the 28th largest U.S. port in terms of total tonnage and the fourth largest container gateway.

The draft feasibility study determined a possible solution as a federal cost-sharing modification to deepen and extend the existing channel, with depths from -51 feet to -57 feet and widths from 450 feet to 865 feet. To review the study in full, visit this website.

The Corps is accepting public comments on the draft report and EA until Feb. 16. Comments will be accepted via email to TacomaHarbor@usace.army.mil or can be mailed to:

ATTN: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District
P.O. Box 3755
Seattle, WA 98124-3755