The Port of Olympia marine terminal these days is home to logs, fracking sand, organic corn and most recently, a shipment of gold ore from Northern Ireland that will eventually make its way to the Eastern Washington town of Republic.
The result is that it’s getting kind of crowded on the terminal, which led longshore worker Jim Rose to attend and speak during Monday’s port commission meeting.
“Over at the marine terminal it’s packed pretty hard,” he said. “We’re running out of room.”
Rose’s solution was to encourage the commission and port to open Berth 4 along the marine terminal, saying it would create more room for ships and more dock space for storage.
Never miss a local story.
Berth 4 is just south of Anthony’s Hearthfire Grill and is not used, while berths 1, 2 and 3 are better known for accommodating ships. Berth 1 is home to a couple of tugs that assist cargo ships that come into Budd Inlet, while Berth 2 and Berth 3 are most often used by the log ships that call on the port to pick up another load.
Naruto Strait just left the port with a load of logs, only to be replaced by Campanula, which is loading logs this week at the port.
Not only would Berth 4 create more room for ships and storage, but perhaps a water taxi service could use the space as well, said Rose.
Port spokeswoman Jennie Foglia-Jones, after checking with one of the longest tenured employees at the port, said Berth 4 hasn’t been used since the 1980s.
Marine Terminal Director Len Faucher seemed lukewarm to the idea.
“I’m not there at this point,” he said.
Rose acknowledged that opening Berth 4 would require some work. It’s currently little more than pilings.
Berth 4 also was considered for a potential marine fuel dock site before the port decided to build it along A-dock at Swantown Marina.