The Corps and Port of Seattle are completing a feasibility study to evaluate navigation improvements to Seattle Harbor’s East and West Waterways. Navigational challenges were identified and current authorized depths of 34 to 51 feet below mean lower low water do not meet today’s larger container ship draft requirements.
The Port of Seattle is a major gateway for containerized traffic. To remain a competitive Pacific trade route port, it must have sufficient water depth for partially loaded vessels to call and take on additional cargo.
The Tentatively Selected Plan is the combination of deepening in both waterways to a depth of 57 feet below mean lower low water, increasing channel width by 50 feet, plus widening of approach reaches to 700 feet for improving navigation safety at the entrance to each channel.