Port of Coos Bay, Developer to Pursue Grant for Pacific Coast Intermodal Port Project

Image: Port of Coos Bay.

The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay and NorthPoint Development plan to pursue a major grant proposal to help fund the Pacific Coast Intermodal Port Project, the port announced Aug. 21.

The State of Oregon has already committed $60 million toward the three-part project, which involves deepening and broadening the Coos Bay Federal Navigation Channel, upgrading the Coos Bay Rail Line system-wide and building a maritime terminal on port property the North Spit.

The grant money, if secured, would go toward improvements to the rail line and the channel, while NorthPoint Development would pay for the construction of the terminal.

The plan is for the channel to be deepened the entrance to River Mile 8.2 from -37 feet to -45 feet Mean Lowest Low Water and widened from 300 feet to 450 feet nominal width, according to the port.

The port and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are teaming up on developing and designing the project.

Meanwhile, the rail line project calls for modifying its nine tunnels to make room for “double-stacked container traffic,” and adding sidings to facilitate the train flow.

NorthPoint’s plan for a new marine terminal would 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 has said.

Upon completion, the facility could potentially process about 1.2 million cargo containers annually and directly support about 2,500 jobs in Coos, Douglas and Lane Counties, according to the port.

The project is expected to have sustainable design with green technology such as electrification and landside cargo movement almost entirely by rail, according to the port.

“Utilization of rail for landside container movements will minimize highway congestion, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” the port has said, adding that rail-bound cargo could lower emissions by as much as 75% in comparison to truck-bound cargo.

By Karen Robes Meeks