Rail is a vital component of the Port of Everettís current and future cargo shipping activities. Itís also a key piece of infrastructure for moving goods and people throughout the region. For this reason, the Department of Homeland Security has awarded the Port of Everett with a grant to construction 1,100 lineal feet of new rail line along side the Portís shipping terminals. The Port also received additional grant monies to construct the remaining 1,400 feet of rail. This brings the full rail line to 2,500 feet.
Currently, the Port of Everett doesnít have the capacity to handle large volumes of container traffic by rail if there were a major man-made or natural disaster that prevented cargo from moving through the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma. This new rail line will help solve this problem.
An added benefit to this project is that it will improve rail access to existing Port of Everett facilities at Pacific Terminal and South Terminal, allowing our shippers to unload more cargo onto rail cars more quickly and efficiently, which is an integral part of the Portís strategy to attract rail cargoes.
Nearly 90-percent of the bulk cement currently leaving this facility travels via truck (approximately 400,000 tons annually). This rail improvement will provide the opportunity for cement to leave the port via rail to locations as far as Calgary, Alberta.
The completed project will also create a new mainline bypass in an area normally plagued by hillside slides in winter months and would allow for emergency access by BNSF Railway to service other local rail users, such as Kimberly-Clark, solid waste, and other north or south bound traffic.
The Port actively uses rail to serve the aerospace industry, mining and oil drilling operations, transport machinery, power transformers and cement. This expanded rail capacity will allow the Port to transport more cargo via rail, which will reduce the road impacts associated with the terminals. To fully and adequately assess the environmental impacts of this project, the Port has done a SEPA/NEPA review for this work.