By Marissa Heffernan, The Daily News
The Port of Kalama, in Washington state, plans to spend about US$32.2 million on capital projects in 2022, with a focus on its new small cruise ship dock, marketplace and the first incubator building at Spencer Creek Business Park.
The American Cruise Lines dock, which is slated to be finished at the end of February, is estimated to cost about US$4.5 million. American Cruise Lines is contributing US$1 million to the project, which will create a dock on the riverfront near Marine Park that the cruise line will receive preferred usage for the cruise line’s small vessels and sternwheelers.
American Cruise Lines operates river cruises on the Columbia and Snake rivers and is the only river cruise that docks in Kalama. Currently, ships anchor at the beach at Ahles Point, about half a mile from Marine Park. The port has been working with American Cruise Lines since 2019 to develop a dock as an alternative to the beach access.
The Mountain Timber Market is slated to receive about $12 million in 2022 and will be tourism generated, with a public market on the first floor and lodging and a restaurant or pub on the second floor. The plan is for it to be located off North Hendrickson Drive between Rasmussen and Marine parks.
The first incubator building also is planned for Spencer Creek Business Park, port spokesman Dan Polacek said. The port’s 2022 strategic plan has budgeted $6 million in building construction and another $1 million for utilities and roads in the East Port area, which includes the Spencer Creek Business Park.
Also slated for some new construction in 2022 is the Kalama River Industrial Park, which has about US$750,000 budgeted for multipurpose light industrial buildings; US$50,000 for rails, road and utilities; and US$20,000 to re-light the park with energy-efficient lighting.
Polacek said the port also is at 30 per cent design for a replacement to the pedestrian overpass, but the project is “unlikely to be funded this year.” He anticipates construction on the US$4.5 million project to begin in 2023 for the US$4.5-million project. Half of the cost is funded by a state Department of Commerce grant.
The current pedestrian overpass linking West Frontage Road and North Hendrickson Drive was built in 1973 and is not ADA accessible. The new crossing would be in the same location, but would include stairs and elevators.
Also in the budget are about US$800,000 in terminal and channel deepening and maintenance work and about US$125,000 in port security upgrades.
The port also has earmarked US$2.5 million in 2022 for potential property purchases near the port’s current industrial areas.