A Port of Tacoma contractor drove the last of 795 concrete pilings into the Blair Waterway to support a new wharf. The $46 million wharf is part of a facility planned for the 83-acre former Kaiser Aluminum property on the east side of the Blair.

Manson Construction of Seattle worked 12-hour days Mondays through Saturdays since late August to drive the 142-foot-long concrete piling, made by Concrete Technology on the Tacoma Tideflats. The long workdays were necessary to complete the in-water work before the annual fish migration season begins. Remaining construction outside the water will continue until the wharf is complete, expected in October.

“We’re grateful to our neighbors in Northeast Tacoma for their understanding during this first phase of construction,” said Port of Tacoma Commission President Dick Marzano. “The improvements will serve our community well into the future. And while we know the results will be worth it, we also understand a remodeling project of this magnitude might create noise.”

This phase of construction was the first of more than $800 million in redevelopment along the Blair-Hylebos Peninsula between now and 2012. Future plans include a relocated and expanded terminal for Totem Ocean Trailer Express and a new marine terminal for NYK Line. The plans also include substantial road and railway improvements to serve these terminals as well as a privately owned terminal planned by SSA Marine and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians.