The Port of Newport sat down Thursday with the City of Newport to share updates on the status of the International log export situation as well as some remedial actions planned for Moore Road, the logging trucks main access road.
City officials said the city will enhance signage at the intersection of Moore and Bay Road at the bottom of the hill. The city will also add bolder striping on the pavement, especially for downhill traffic as well as for traffic on eastbound Bay Blvd stopping at the intersection at Moore Road.
City officials also pointed out that the storm drain under Moore and Bay Roads has been failing for some time and will need to be re-engineered and replaced. City officials say the project should be ready to go out bid in the spring of next year.
As for the International Terminal itself, port officials said there remains, to date, no alternative route currently feasible – but they haven’t given up on developing one. They’ve said all along that whatever it turns out to be, it will be pricey. ODOT and the city continue to maintain that Moore Road is already built to a standard for heavy trucks because it used to handle truck traffic running between the International Terminal and Highway 20 many years ago.
As for the terminal itself, Port Manager Kevin Greenwood reported that logging export company Alcan is set to debark its logs at a mill site near Toledo and then haul them to the terminal in Newport. Teevin Brothers is expected to begin building its log handling and management yard on the Hall property immediately east of the terminal. Alcan has said that they will load log ships to about half-full so they can get in and out of the harbor without extra dredging being done. Teevin has said basically the same thing, but always emphasizes that half-shipments are not economically feasible in the long run. They want to ship full loads by this fall. But the Army Corps of Engineers will first have to dredge down three more feet along side the terminal dock as well as the connector path from the river’s main channel to the dock. The only thing holding that up is a National Marine Fisheries permit which the port has already applied for. The port has offered to expand fishery habitat on the south side of the river, behind Hatfield Marine Science Center to make up for the loss caused by the additional dredging. Port Manager Kevin Greenwood told NewsLincolnCounty.com this week that the fisheries service has indicated a willingness to move the process along so that the permit may come more quickly.