Port of Tacoma completes $32M wharf extension

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Officials from Hyundai Merchant Marine, Port of Tacoma, Washington United Terminals and several guests recently celebrated the completion of a $32 million extension of the WUT wharf on the Blair Waterway. The construction project added 600 feet to the terminal’s existing 2,000-foot berth to support two post-Panamax container cranes the terminal added in January 2009.

“This wharf extension provides WUT with the additional terminal capacity we need for our two largest container cranes, and allows us to handle two container ships at the same time at our facility,” says Y.I. Song, head of Hyundai Merchant Marine America Inc. “It also gives us greater capacity to handle additional business at this terminal and accommodate the industry’s largest container vessels.”

The 273-foot-high cranes can serve a ship 24 containers wide, making them among the world’s largest. Built by Shanghai-based ZPMC, the cranes joined four others at WUT with an 18-container-wide reach. The project began in December 2009 when Port of Tacoma commissioners approved the contract with Seattle-based Manson Construction to extend the wharf.

“This project is a great example of how we work together with our shipping lines and terminal operators to make investments that create additional capacity for our future growth,” says John Wolfe, Port of Tacoma chief executive officer. “Especially in these challenging economic times, our port is pleased to have a project like this that helps create construction jobs and business opportunities throughout our region.”