January 15 - The Port of Everett has secured the remaining USD1.168 million required to construct 762 m of new railway that will connect its piers and other facilities with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe's main line.

The Port of Everett's shipping terminals have been identified as a base of operations to directly support regional recovery and reconstruction efforts in the event of a regional man-made or natural disaster. To adequately serve in this capacity, additional rail is needed to ensure the quick and efficient movement of goods.

Everett was given this strategic designation due to its geographical location in the event of an eruption from Mount Rainier or a man-made disaster at the ports of Seattle or Tacoma. An eruption from Mount Rainier would essentially shut down the ports of Olympia, Tacoma and some of Seattle.

Port commissioner Mark Wolken said. "This new rail line provides operational improvements for the port for its regular business."

The port actively uses rail to serve the aerospace industry, mining and oil drilling operations, transport machinery, power transformers and cement. This expanded rail capacity will allow the port to transport more cargo via rail as opposed to trucks, which will reduce the road impacts associated with the terminals. This rail access recovery spur is included in the Port's 2008 Marine Terminals Master Plan.

The Port will begin the construction of this new USD3.1 million rail line in early 2010, and the rail line is expected to be ready for use in late 2010.