Bellingham Shipping Terminal Modernization Project: 2023-25

The Port of Bellingham has started a transformative two-year project to modernize the Shipping Terminal to meet the infrastructure needs of the modern shipping industry. This $27.5 Million project will fortify the main dock to allow heavy cargo and equipment, increase the navigation depth to allow a much wider range of potential cargo, install a state-of-the-art stormwater management system to protect Puget Sound, and create family-wage jobs throughout the region. Tacoma-based American Construction will start dredging in front of the terminal in January 2024 (American Construction was also the lead contractor on a successful Port-led project in 2016 to clean-up historic contamination from Bellingham Bay in what was one of the largest clean-up projects in state history). The Bellingham Shipping Terminal Modernization Project is supported by a $6.85 Million Federal Grant.

Strengthening the Main Dock

  • Replaces 140 feet of deteriorating and damaged wharf with a new dock capable of supporting heavy cargo and equipment 
  • Allows the Port’s 120 Metric Ton mobile crane to be positioned on the main dock, increasing efficiency

Increasing Navigation Depth

  • Increases navigation depth for safe access from vessels at the main pier from -26 feet to -35 feet at mean low low water
  • Allows a much wider range of potential cargo such as cars and offshore wind opportunities

Protecting the Environment

  • Removes 22,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from historic industrial activities
  • A state-of-the-art stormwater management system will capture water from the new dock for on-shore treatment
  • Supports infrastructure allowing vessels to plug into electricity at berth, substantially reducing air emissions

Working Waterfront Jobs

  • Creates family-wage job opportunities including longshoremen, shipyard & rail workers, freight forwarders and truckers
  • Washington is one of the most trade-dependent states in the nation and seaports are the cornerstone of a economic cluster related to trade, transportation and logistics
  • In 2022, Washington ports imported and exported 55.5 Billion tons of non-containerized cargo such as automobiles, windmill components and grain worth $36.5 Billion.
  • The Washington Maritime Federation released a report in October 2003 documenting the tremendous impact of maritime businesses and activities on Washington State's economy. For an industry which is the foundation of our state's economy, the average annual compensation in maritime-related jobs is $112,000 including benefits. "The Economic Impacts of Washington's Maritime Industry" was conducted for the Washington Maritime Federation by McKinley Research Group in association with High Peak Strategy. Click here to read the full report, or download a summary.