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Catherine Soper
Public Affairs Manager

Port of Everett breaks ground on the Rail/Barge Transfer Facility

Post Date:08/11/2005

The Port of Everett broke ground on its highly anticipated Rail/Barge Transfer Facility on Aug. 11 at Edgewater Beach in Everett.

The Rail/Barge Transfer Facility is considered a project of "statewide significance," and will be used to transport oversized aerospace parts, among other goods. Keynote speaker for the event, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire, applauded the Port of Everett for its diligence in getting this project financed and under construction.

"The Rail/Barge Facility is another example of what the Port of Everett has done to contribute to our state's economy, and to keep regional industry thriving in Washington," Gov. Gregoire said. "This achievement reinforces what can be accomplished through vigorous partnerships, and is indicative of the "can-do" attitude of our communities."

Other speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony included: Port Commissioner Phil Bannan, Economic Development Council Chairman and Edmonds Community College President Jack Oharah, Jack Jones, director of Everett Field Operations and Delivery for The Boeing Company, Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon and Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson. At the end of the ceremony, the Tulalip Tribes blessed the project site with a melodious drumline and song.

"This facility is the essence of what ports were established to do," said Phil Bannan, vice-president of the Port Commission. "This facility is going to create jobs, improve the transport of goods to Paine Field and be a stable source of revenue for the Port of Everett for years to come."

Today's groundbreaking keeps the Port on schedule to complete the in-water portion of the facility by February 2006. The Rail/Barge Facility is designed to transport oversized cargo, such as large aerospace parts, that doesn't fit into standard trucks or rail facilities. After being unloaded by an electric crane, the cargo will be railed to Paine Field. The pier will support local aerospace industries, including Boeing, which expects to use the facility for its 747, 767 and 777 airplane programs. The total project cost is expected to exceed $25 million. Washington state provided the Port with a $15.5 million grant for the construction and pier users will pay the remaining cost.

"Boeing and its employees are pleased that the Rail/Barge Facility is one step closer to becoming a reality. The facility is a good thing for the development of Snohomish County and Washington state as a center for aerospace manufacturing," said Dan Becker, vice president and general manager for Boeing's Everett site. "This facility will help grow and diversify that business sector, and will be a tremendous asset to The Boeing Company in helping us become more competitive."

Currently, oversized parts are transported from Everett's Pacific Terminal by rail to Paine Field. This process shuts down the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) mainline for approximately two hours. The new facility will reduce the mainline shut down to approximately 15 minutes.

"Not only is this a landmark project for the Port and its surrounding businesses, but for the entire shipping industry improving freight and passenger rail service for the entire Puget Sound region," said John Mohr, executive director of the Port of Everett. "The Rail/Barge Facility provides a unique transport service that will put Everett on the map as an aerospace cargo destination."

In addition, the Port of Everett is using a portion of the Rail/Barge Facility site for public beach access. The area surrounding the facility, and potentially the neighboring Tank Farm site, may be improved for future public recreation and shoreline trail access.

"This is a great day for the Port, Boeing and our local community who made this project a possibility," said Jim Shaffer, president of Everett's Port Commission. "I look forward to next summer when the facility opens and we can really see the benefits of this project come together."

The actual construction is expected to start in late August.

For more information on the groundbreaking, please contact Lisa Mandt, Community Relations Representative, at 425-388-0617 or by e-mail.

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