Business, Freight News, Sea

Port of Coos Bay looks to Mega Grant Proposal

[ August 31, 2023   //   ]

Oregon International Port of Coos Bay and NorthPoint Development are submitting a Mega Grant Proposal to Support the Pacific Coast Intermodal Port Project.
Thie PCIP is considered to be a project of national significance by creating a new gateway for west coast imports and exports for the movement of containers through the Port of Coos Bay. Once constructed, this state-of-the-art facility will handle approximately 1.2 million containers per year and support approximately 2,500 direct jobs in Coos, Douglas and Lane Counties.
The PCIP will implement design features utilizing green technologies, with a focus on electrification and landside container movements nearly one hundred percent by rail. Utilization of rail for landside container movements will minimize highway congestion, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Movement of containers by train as opposed to truck can reduce emissions by up to 75%.
The PCIP project will consist of three inextricable components; deepening and widening the Coos Bay Federal Navigation Channel, system wide upgrades to the Coos Bay Rail Line (CBRL), and construction of the rail served maritime terminal on Port owned property on the North Spit. If successful, funding through the Mega grant program will be utilized to support improvements to public assets including the Federal Navigation Channel and the CBRL. A true public private partnership, NorthPoint Development will fund construction of the terminal itself.
The Channel Modification will include deepening the channel from its entrance to River Mile 8.2 from -37′ to -45′ Mean Lowest Low Water and widen it from 300′ to 450′ nominal width. The purpose of this work will be to accommodate transit of larger Neopanamax ships in the harbor, capable of carrying up to 13,000 twenty foot equivalent units (TEU). The Port is working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in development and design of this project. The project, which will also be subject to a full Environmental Impact Statement and completion of a full NEPA process is being done in partnership with various regulatory bodies.
Improvements to the CBRL will include modification to the nine tunnels along the line to accommodate double stacked container traffic, the addition of sidings throughout the mainline to facilitate the additional movement of six unit trains moving outbound and six unit trains traveling inbound. Also, extensive work will be completed to the track and bridges throughout the line to add capacity and improve the overall condition of the infrastructure.
Lastly, NorthPoint will construct the rail served marine terminal, which will consist of crane served ship berths and an extensive rail yard. The terminal will be uniquely designed for direct ship to rail and rail to ship movements, which will minimize container handling, add efficiencies in operations, and reduce emissions from container handling at the terminal.
The Port and NorthPoint Development have received a tremendous amount of support for the project to date, with $60 million in funding committed by the State of Oregon, as well as expression of bipartisan support from the State and Federal legislators throughout the United States, understanding the need for additional container capacity on the West Coast. Over one hundred letters of support have been compiled from various stakeholder groups and will be submitted with the grant proposal.