Timeline told on Port of Port Angeles’ Maritime Trade Center

Construction slated to begin this May

PORT ANGELES — The Port of Port Angeles is entering Phase 2 of development of the Maritime Trade Center on the former PenPly/KPly site, with bidding scheduled to open March 26, according to Director of Engineering Chris Hartman.

Hartman spoke to commissioners Connie Beauvais and Steve Burke at the port’s Tuesday meeting. Commissioner Coleen McAleer had an excused absence.

Construction is anticipated to begin in May and be completed by December, Hartman said.

The scope of work on the 18-acre site includes grading; construction of new water and sewer mains; construction of a stormwater collection, conveyance and treatment facility; and installation of a new asphalt access road.

The port allocated $10.232 million in its 2024 capital budget for the project; it will pay $3.5 million of the cost, with $6.732 million coming from a U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration grant.

“It has the potential of being developed into five separate lease blocks throughout the site,” Hartman said. “Outside of that, there’s some general laydown and other boat repair areas.”

The port chose to focus on building out infrastructure, with particular attention to stormwater management, when it had to scale back the original design to meet its budget, Hartman said. The port received a total grant amount of $11.034 million.

“The original cost estimates were done in 2019, and we got awarded the grant in 2022,” Hartman said. “Now that we’re going into construction in 2024, all of those prices have just continued to far outpace traditional yearly escalations.”

The price to complete the project as originally planned would be about $18 million, he said.

Among the cost savings were shortening a road on the site so it accesses just three of the five lease lots, and replacing a good deal of proposed asphalt surfacing with crushed rock.

“What would be the ramifications of truck traffic where it’s unpaved, like going over the cargo area?” Beauvais asked. “Are you taking into consideration what that would do to the stormwater infrastructure?”

Hartman said that concern would likely need to be addressed at some point.

“If you had a bunch of heavy haul on the gravel site and then onto pavement, you’re going to track out a lot of sediment that gets washed into the storm drains,” he said. “If there was a specific cargo [like chips] that was being considered, you might have to come in back in and do additional paving.”

The port is still in the process of talking to businesses and gauging interest in the site, so it wanted to remain open to ideas about layout and not get ahead of what individual clients might need, Executive Director Paul Jarkiewicz said.

“It leaves us a lot of flexibility to do a number of different things,” Jarkiewicz said. “We want to remain flexible and make the site operative so a tenant can build itself or the port can build to suit.”

The port has been able to realize cost savings by doing some of the work itself, such as removing and breaking up old concrete foundations on the site.

“The more of that we can do, the more we’re going to save,” facilities maintenance supervisor Wilson Easton said.

Easton said port staff found “logs galore” left over from a state Department of Ecology dredging project in 2014 during which 53,765 tons of contaminated soil had been excavated and removed. Some of the logs could be chipped, he said, while others soaked with creosote would have to be taken to a transfer station.

Port commissioners unanimously approved the $50,000 purchase of a pre-fabricated 40-foot by 72-foot pole building kit that facilities maintenance will for use for equipment storage. Facilities maintenance staff will construct the building.

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Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached at paula.hunt@peninsuladailynews.com.

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