Seattle Harbor Navigation Improvement Project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Seattle District will prepare, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, an environmental assessment (EA) for the Seattle Harbor Navigation Improvement Project.

The largest container vessels calling at West Coast ports today have roughly twice the capacity of those that served the ports just five years ago. In order to remain a competitive trade gateway for Northwest shippers and to preserve the many jobs related to maritime trade, the Port of Seattle must take steps to better accommodate these larger vessels.

One such step is to study whether deepening is needed in specific areas adjacent to the port’s container terminals. The Corps will analyze alternatives for navigation improvements to the East and West Waterways of Seattle Harbor, including potential deepening.

USACE, aware of existing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act actions throughout the East and West Waterways, will coordinate with EPA during the course of the study.


The Corps has initiated the plan formulation process and will consider structural and non-structural measures that address problems in the study area and meet the planning objectives of the study. Initial alternatives include deepening the East and West Waterways up to -55 feet mean lower low water (MLLW).

Further analysis will include evaluation of all reasonable alternatives to address problems and opportunities, including an evaluation of the No Action Alternative.

The purpose of the project is to achieve transportation cost savings to and from Seattle Harbor.

USACE and the Port of Seattle will host a Public Information Meeting on Wednesday, November 19th 2014 at the South Seattle Community College, Georgetown Campus Room C110 (Gene Colin Education Building).

Members of the public are invited to attend to learn about the proposed project and to provide feedback on issues they believe the Corps should evaluate during the alternatives evaluation process.

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Press Release

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