Corps Approves Dock Expansion

Next step is for Port of Lewiston officials to decide how to pay for project

A Port of Lewiston project cleared a significant hurdle Monday.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approved an application for a $2.9 million expansion of the port’s container dock.

“We have granted permission for them to proceed,” said Bruce Henrickson, a spokesman for the corps’ Walla Walla District.

The corps found the 150-foot addition to the 125-foot dock wouldn’t have a significant impact on the environment, but identified precautions to protect wildlife during construction, according to a news release from the corps.

Among them is use of a vibratory hammer, something that will reduce underwater noise and sediment disturbance.

The decision took almost a year.  The corps received the request from the port on May 27.  It conducted a public hearing on October 19 and accepted written comments before Monday’s announcement.

“We’re pleased,” said Port of Lewiston manager David Doeringsfeld.  “It’s been a long process.  We’re ready to move forward with the project.”

The next step will be finalizing how to pay for the extension, a matter that will be tackled by port commissioners in coming weeks as they put together the budget for the next fiscal year, Doeringsfeld said.

The port has applied for $1.3 million in federal money and has been identifying other sources that could cover the work, because it’s not very likely the federal money will be granted, Doeringsfeld said.

Among them are other grants, loans, and money from its own coffers.  The port has secured a $350,000 rural block grant from the state.

It’s likely crews will start in July 2013 and be completed within a few months, Doeringsfeld said.

The corps has given the port about three years to finish, Henrickson said.

(By Elaine Williams, The Lewiston Tribune)

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