GH Designated Site For SR520 Pontoon Construction Project
October 2010 - Designating the Port of Grays Harbor’s 45 acre site as the large pontoon construction site saves the State time and between $500-$700 million on the SR 520 bridge replacement project.
The Port of Grays Harbor officially became part of the solution to the Puget Sound area’s transportation challenges. Governor Chris Gregoire and Secretary of Transportation Paula Hammond announced yesterday that a port owned site in Hoquiam will be the location for the large pontoon construction project. The large pontoons are part of the SR520 bridge replacement project, a top priority for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
“This is great news for Grays Harbor and the City of Hoquiam,” reports Stan Pinnick, Port of Grays Harbor Commission President. “A project this size will employ workers throughout Grays Harbor both directly at the site and through subcontractors and suppliers. The Port is proud to be a part of this exciting new project for the Harbor.”
Environmental permitting and engineering work will continue on the 45 acre site at the confluence of the Hoquiam and Chehalis Rivers. Site construction is expected to begin in the Spring of 2010. Upon completion the pontoon construction will employ 75 to 100 workers building 55 pontoons. Upon completion the pontoons will be floated to Puget Sound for installation.
“The Port has worked with a number of potential users for this industrial waterfront site and the WSDOT project is the best fit,” states Gary Nelson, Executive Director of the Port of Grays Harbor. “We look forward to continuing to work with the WSDOT staff and their contractors as the project moves from the drawing board to reality.”
Transportation officials have been conduction feasibility and environmental impact analysis on the Hoquiam site for two years. Until yesterday, the State was suggesting the Grays Harbor construction site to potential contractors but allowing them to make that decision as they bid on the project. In a letter to the Legislature, Governor Gregoire stated the original timeline for replacement was too long and by designating a site for construction, Grays Harbor, allows construction of the large pontoons to begin one year sooner. Officials now estimate the SR 520 bridge will be completed by 2014 with the full corridor completed in 2016.
Located on Washington’s Pacific Coast, the Port of Grays Harbor operates four deep-water marine terminals, manages 600 acres of industrial property, operates the Westport Marina and Bowerman Airport and is home to more than 100 private businesses.