VANCOUVER, Wash. – During the regularly scheduled August 12 meeting, the Port of Vancouver’s Board of Commissioners authorized CEO Todd Coleman to execute a public works contract with Nutter Corporation for utility work that will serve multiple properties along Vancouver’s waterfront. The infrastructure improvements are a joint effort between the port, the city of Vancouver and Columbia Waterfront LLC (CWLLC).
“I spent a tremendous amount of time considering whether or not to support this agreement,” said port Commissioner Nancy Baker. “But in the end, I determined that this is my city as well as my port, and if this project will benefit all of us, then I’ll vote yes.”
The contract, with a not to exceed amount of $850,950, is considered Phase One of an overall project to install roadway, stormwater, sewer and water infrastructure that will serve six waterfront parcels owned by the port and properties owned by CWLLC. The port’s portion of the utilities project costs is $419,821, with the city and CWLLC paying the balance.
The contract includes installation of deep stormwater, sanitary sewer and water lines for Columbia Street and the future corridors of Columbia Way and Esther and Grant Streets.
Because the deep stormwater and sewer work must be done when groundwater levels are relatively low, installation of these utilities will occur during the late summer and early fall of 2014. Remaining phases of the project, including construction of Columbia Way, will be completed in 2015 by the city of Vancouver.
Utility and roadway construction allows both CWLLC to move forward with development of its proposed waterfront project and better positions the port to explore next steps in the development of more than 13 acres of port property located adjacent to and east of the CWLLC project.
Specifics on the responsibilities of each partner in this project are codified in a Project Agreement made possible through an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) entered into by the city and the port in late 2012. The IGA created a mechanism for the two public agencies to work together on economic development projects, planning and communication services in the most efficient manner possible.
“I want to commend the Commission on staying the course on its commitment to support the city’s waterfront development,” said port CEO Todd Coleman. “We helped shape the vision, and our board has been steadfast in their willingness to provide the leadership and investments necessary to create a viable, vibrant waterfront. Today’s action is just one more catalyst in turning this vision into reality.”
Collaboration between the port and the city on the future of our community’s waterfront has been ongoing since the port was established in 1912, starting with industrial and business development at the port’s Terminal 1, which is currently home to the Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay. The most recent effort, the redevelopment of the Boise Cascade property, began in 2006 when the port agreed to fast-track a portion of its West Vancouver Freight Access project to allow the project to move forward. The port’s $16 million investment in new rail infrastructure, including underpasses at Grant and Esther streets, provided continued rail access to area industrial businesses, which was necessary to complete the transfer of the Boise Cascade property to CWLLC.
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