Part of Newport’s grand plan for its port is to give Willamette Valley farmers more choices on how to get their products to market. And barge traffic is often mentioned as a welcome alternative to regular shipping. Between labor strife in Portland and complex scheduling out of San Francisco and Seattle, many Oregon farms are looking for something more moderately priced and not so vulnerable to unforseen circumstances affecting their products getting to the rest of the country and to Asia.
Part of Newport’s plan is to put a higher speed Highway 20 to work in giving Willamette Valley farmers faster and safer access to ocean shipping. Barge traffic is easy and very efficient. Creating a barge shipping center at the Newport International Terminal remains a major goal of the Newport Port Commission. They’re currently in the process of acquiring major grants as financial leveraging for further federal and state funding.
So photographer Ken Gagne is definitely giving us a quick preview of things to come in a busier and more vibrant International Port of Newport.