Contractors will begin driving test piles at the Northwest Seaport Alliance Terminal 5 in Seattle the first week of January. The installation will last through March.
The pile driving and testing is part of the design phase of the terminal’s improvements. Test results could help reduce the final number of piles required and refine the depth of installation during berth construction.
About 27 piles will be installed at the edge of the Terminal 5 wharf. Installation and testing will take place 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays in compliance with the City of Seattle’s noise ordinance.
Once installed, some of the piles will be tested using a method known as rapid-load testing. The testing sounds like a half-second cannon shot. The sound can be as loud as 145 decibels at a distance of 50 feet. Nine tests are planned, with no more than one test per day.
Planned dock improvements will make the terminal capable of accommodating heavier cranes and provide deeper drafts to handle the megaships cascading into the trans-Pacific trade.