PORT ANGELES — The Port of Port Angeles has completed nearly $5 million in repairs and improvements on Terminal 1, its oldest piece of infrastructure.
During the $4.9 million project, crews replaced more than 380 wooden piles with coated steel piles, contracted a new barge dolphin and made major repairs to the head tie dolphin, said Chris Hartman, director of engineering.
Dolphins are mooring points not attached to the dock.
The dock was built in 1927 and many of the pilings were nearly 90 years old.
“Terminal 1 is the port’s oldest piece of infrastructure,” Hartman said. “It’s why the port was created in the first place.”
The terminal is primarily used for topside repairs of oil tankers, typically traveling between Alaska and California, he said.
“The biggest customers are oil tankers,” he said. “They come down here when they need work done, anything other than coming out of water.”
Vigor Industrial, a shipbuilding and ship repair company with 12 locations in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, uses the terminal to repair ships that don’t need to go into dry dock, Hartman said.
“Terminal 1 is an extremely important piece of infrastructure to marine repair companies here in Port Angeles,” he said. “That piece of infrastructure is vital for them.”
The project was first approved in July of 2015 and reached substantial completion Oct. 31 of this year.
Work was originally anticipated to be finished by the end of March, but there were numerous delays in procuring steel piling.
The contractor also encountered extremely dense soil conditions when installing piling for the new barge dolphin.
A list of punch list items was completed in late November, and port commissioners officially put the project to rest Monday.
The port replaced the wood piles with steel piles primarily for environmental reasons, Hartman said.
“When it was originally constructed, they used creosote coating so they could last,” he said. “That’s no longer allowed.”
Hartman said there are other approved coats for wood piles but that it made more sense to choose steel, which lasts much longer.
The project was partially funded by a $1,500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The port paid $850,670.38 out of pocket in 2015 and another $2,528,256.55 this year, for a total of $3,378,926.93.
The port budgeted $3 million toward the project this year. Even with more than $375,000 in change orders, the project came in roughly $475,000 under budget.
“We were anticipating [extra costs], it being as old of a structure as it is,” Hartman said. “You anticipate finding additional repairs.
“We put a significant contingency on top of it to be sure we were covered.”
That 7.8 percent increase from change orders came after crews found more things that needed repairs and as some damage was caused during construction.
Among those repairs was for dock damage on Terminal 3 after a ship went in too hard, Hartman said. Terminal 3 is the port’s loading dock and is adjacent to Terminal 1.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].