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Yearly Archives: 2020

All hail the USS Oregon!

The USS Oregon—of her many heroic feats, pulling Kalama out from the Great Depression is a local triumph.

After serving in several major wars, the Oregon came out of retirement when iron was needed for WWII.  She was towed to the Port of Kalama in March 1943 to be salvaged.

That launched a flurry of robust economic activity as workers were hired to break down the ship and repurpose its parts.

It was a boon for Kalama, patriotic and profitable—and you’re still going strong!

Check out our entertaining video on the USS Oregon!

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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Vroom! Vroom!

The post Depression era found Kalama in a great position to prosper, due to the planning of its leaders in forming the Port.

The Port of Kalama stood ready to rev up the local economy with help from Federal New Deal Programs of the 1930s.

Completion of the Bonneville Dam in 1937 by the Army Corps of Engineers brought clean, low-cost hydroelectric power to the region and also mitigated the Columbia River flooding. Bonus!

Stability for the Port of Kalama attracted new industries, such as grain, and chemical companies in addition to wood products. Many of the businesses attracted from the 40s to the 60s remain important tenants of the Port today—thank you, TEMCO, RSG Gram, and Emerald Kalama!

One hundred years later, you’re better than ever.

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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Port of Kalama is born!

Quite the Renaissance man, Kalama resident Hite Imus not only led the move to create the Port of Kalama but served as the city’s first mayor, county clerk, prosecuting attorney, and ran the Land Office. He also founded, owned and wrote the editorial page for the Kalama Bulletin for 40 years. Whew!

Imus, along with civic leaders JG Gruver and FL Jenkins, put their plan for an economic engine into action and the Port of Kalama was inaugurated in April 1920, with 600 waterfront acres and a commercial dock that served maritime industries.

Check out this entertaining video! 

100 years later you’re still going strong!

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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Discover! Port of Kalama named third largest bulk exporter on the West Coast, 16th largest in the nation

The Port of Kalama has again been named the third largest bulk exporter on the West Coast right after Los Angeles and Long Beach, California according to the US Census Bureau and USA Trade Online. Handling well over 13 million metric tons of bulk commodities, the Port of Kalama weighs in as one of the West Coast’s largest exporters.

The Columbia River is the third largest grain export gateway in the world, exporting more than 50% of the nation’s wheat. Today, 50 million tons of cargo travel up and down the Columbia River. The Port of Kalama plays a key role in the Northwest’s robust export trade industry.

The Port of Kalama is home to 30 industries employing more than 1,200 people, who choose the Port for its superior customer service and business support.

Honoring 100 years of service to the nation’s booming export business

As they celebrate 100 years of service, the Port of Kalama is no stranger to international trade, commerce and transportation. Port of Kalama enjoys a rich history that weaves through time along waterways, railways and roadways to drive home why transportation and commerce like bulk exports continues to be the community’s mainstay today.

On Monday, December 22, 1919, a group of Kalama residents met at the Kalama Business Men’s Club to discuss the formation of a port district. By May, 1920, the Port of Kalama was born of a local election process.

Today highway, rail and water meet in Kalama at some of the most efficient transportation networks in the country. Kalama’s particular landscape gave birth to a booming transportation system impacting the area both culturally and economically—ultimately transforming the area into its position today as an internationally-connected community.

Currently, there are 75 public port districts in Washington. Large and small, east and west, Washington’s ports are active in many different areas of economic development, providing jobs and economic stimulation for their communities.

The Port of Kalama is honored to be recognized as such a significant player in the nation’s booming export trade industry.

 

 

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Port of Kalama prepares for demolition of building formerly home to Absolute Concrete Colors

The Port dismantles the building to make way for redevelopment and beautification of the area

The Port of Kalama will demolish the building formerly occupied by Absolute Concrete Colors starting the week of August 17, 2020. The building is located at 1265 N. Hendrickson Drive, just off exit 30.

The building was originally built in 1985 for EZE Products and was most recently home to Absolute Concrete Colors. The building also housed North Star Yachts as a manufacturing facility.

The soil under the building was contaminated with hydrocarbons during its use. Most of the site was cleaned up by the operator that caused the contamination, but the area beneath the building was difficult to treat.  While the levels are modest, they still exceed state standards. Demolition of the building and removal of the concrete floor will allow work to commence on this persistent issue.

“In addition to facilitating the cleanup, this building has served its purpose for industrial tenants and is now obsolete to serve today’s mixed use and light industrial needs,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “We are discussing plans for redevelopment and beautification of this entrance to the Port once the site has been restored.”

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Go with the flow!

Dredging—the process keeps Kalama’s deep draft port navigable and has provided clean recreational beaches.

It all began in 1914, when the Columbia River in Kalama was deepened.

While Kalama’s fishing and lumber industries thrived at that time, without a large public dock it could not accommodate a visit by big ships.

A light bulb popped as civic leaders began to envision an economic engine in Kalama that could get a piece of that action and improve the lives of the community.

This nugget of inspiration one hundred years ago grew into today’s Port of Kalama.

Watch the video here.

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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With summer in full-swing, please be careful around the water

Welcome, Summer! There’s no better season to enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor recreation that abound here in Kalama.

As a key contributor to the Kalama community, the Port is responsible for providing and enhancing public recreational opportunities. Nestled on the banks of the Columbia River, the Port of Kalama is home to miles of riverfront walking paths, world-class fishing, recreational marina and acres of public parks.

Safety first!

While we urge our guests to enjoy the riverfront amenities, we also remind you to be mindful of the power of the Columbia River—swift currents and steep banks can pose risks to even the strongest of swimmers. So please be careful, watch the kids, and wear life vests.  

We hope you’ll safely enjoy the Port’s parks for:

  • Beaches and waterfront boating and fishing
  • Sporting facilities for soccer, baseball, tennis, football
  • Equestrian arena
  • Picnic facilities and covered areas
  • Play structures
  • Walking paths

Wishing you a happy and healthy Summer 2020!

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When timber was king.

Timber was king in the early days of Kalama.

The railroad needed wood for fuel and track ties. And the Gold Rush demanded plenty to shore up mines and also build out towns that sprouted to house those seeking fortunes in silver and gold.

In 1907, The Mountain Timber Company was born on the banks of Kalama.

Timber laid the tracks for the railway and the railway laid tracks for the eventual Port of Kalama.

Enjoy this entertaining video celebrating when Timber was King in Kalama!

 Happy 100th birthday, Port of Kalama!

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Fish On!

Something fishy happened where the Port of Kalama sits today.

The Doty Fish Company was hatched in 1895.

Built right on the Columbia River, fishermen could unload their catch directly to the processing plant taking advantage of the deep-water port—a feature the Port of Kalama capitalizes on to this day.

Through the intersection of the river and rail, the world got a taste of Pacific salmon.

Yum!

We hope you’ll enjoy this entertaining video celebrating our 100th birthday!

Happy Centennial, Port of Kalama!

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Watch for trains: be safe when heading back to Port parks this summer!

Since Kalama’s humble beginnings, we’ve had a long, rich history with our friends who operate the railroads. The Port was born of its roots as a transportation hub—and the BNSF runs right through our riverfront property.

As you head out for long-awaited summertime festivities, please be aware of the railroad and train traffic. We want you and your family to be safe!

The following track safety tips are brought to you by our friends at BNSF and Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Education.

Now, enjoy the parks and have a fabulous summer!

Track Safety Basics

  1. Freight trains don’t travel at fixed times, and schedules for passenger trains often change. Always expect a train at each highway-rail intersection at any time.
  2. All train tracks are private property. Never walk on tracks; it’s illegal trespass and highly dangerous.
  3. It takes the average freight train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile—the length of 18 football fields—to stop. Trains cannot stop quickly enough to avoid a collision.
  4. Trains have the right of way 100% of the timeover emergency vehicles, cars, the police and pedestrians.
  5. A train can extend three feet or more beyond the steel rail, putting the safety zone for pedestrians well beyond the three-foot mark. If there are rails on the railroad ties, always assume the track is in use, even if there are weeds or the track looks unused.
  6. Trains can move in either direction at any time.Sometimes its cars are pushed by locomotives instead of being pulled, which is especially true in commuter and light rail passenger service.
  7. Today’s trains are quieter than ever, producing no telltale “clackety-clack.”Any approaching train is always closer, moving faster, than you think.
  8. Remember to cross train tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings, and obey all warning signs and signals posted there.
  9. Stay alert around railroad tracks. Refrain from texting, headphones or other distractions that would prevent you from hearing an approaching train; never mix rails and recreation.

 

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