The Port of Seattle Commission updated its 2020 construction plans to boost local COVID-19 economic recovery through project spending and hiring, while enacting public health protocols developed with guidance from state and federal agencies.
The plan continues early actions by the Port to direct as much activity as possible towards immediate COVID-19 recovery.
The updated plan, released on 28 April, commits the Port continue with approximately 20 projects currently under construction, worth approximately $1.5 billion to the local economy.
The Port also proposes accelerating and postponing certain projects based on financial considerations.
“As one of the largest public sector builders in the region, the Port is uniquely positioned to help lead the region’s recovery,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck. “Our goal is to help keep construction workers employed by providing certainty to large public works construction projects, accelerating some projects where feasible, and by supporting our private sector partners.”
Capital project spending comprises more than half of the Port’s annual budget and provides a major economic boost to the region. The Commission also discussed a framework of early action proposals to further spur Port-related hiring and business opportunities.
The Port Commission will review the five-year capital development plan again this fall when it prepares the 2021 budget. The Port’s 2020 operating budget is $470 million and 2020 capital budget is $640 million.
The Port’s $3.4 billion capital development programme, one of the largest in the region, develops and rehabilitates critical aviation and maritime infrastructure to improve operational efficiency, enhances customer service, generates additional economic activity, provides diversity in contracting opportunities for small, women, and minority business enterprises, and reduces environmental impact.
In its review of 2020 projects, the Port identified projects where it will consider accelerating construction.
Projects under consideration include:
- North Satellite Modernization
- International Arrivals Facility
- Airfield pavement work
- Passenger loading bridges replacement
- Terminal 46 north berth replacement (not related to proposed cruise terminal)
The Port also identified projects where it will postpone planning or design work. The Port will postpone work on the proposed Terminal 46 cruise terminal. The Port needs to better understand the market impact of COVID-19 before proceeding.
The analysis will consider impacts of COVID-19 on the industry’s 2020 cruise season, health and safety regulatory requirements, industry and market forecasts, and economic benefit.
“The last twenty years proved the demand for the Alaska cruise market, which we believe is resilient and will return,” said Executive Director, Steve Metruck. “With global cruising on pause right now, it’s appropriate that we consider coming back to this project in the future when we have a clearer picture of the market.”