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Mill Improvements

The WestRock Mill Improvements project involved the redevelopment of 12.9 acres of heavy industrial property along the waterfront of the Puyallup River in the Port of Tacoma. To enhance trucking operations associated with the paper mill and improve safety along Portland Avenue, the main facility entrance was reconfigured to allow truck queuing to occur outside of the right-of-way, employee parking was added, and a trailer drop yard was built to support 126 semi-trailers. The majority of the project area was within the regulated shoreline zone and extended to ordinary high water. Due to the unique configuration of the property and the lack of city stormwater infrastructure in Portland Avenue, Sitts & Hill prepared a feasibility analysis and supporting cost estimate to determine the optimum route and point of connection for the new stormwater system. Ultimately this led to the construction of a gravity stormwater conveyance system for the new 12 acre paved truck yard and a new VFD controlled duplex 25-hp pump station with over 1,600 LF of 12” HDPE forcemain connected back to the mill’s existing treatment plant. Sitts & Hill was able to design the forcemain to be an above-ground installation complete with freeze protection and thermal expansion loops to minimize shoreline impacts typically associated with buried pipe construction. In addition to the demolition, erosion control, paving, and grading plans Sitts & Hill provided landscape plans for 1,700 feet of waterfront in compliance with the City of Tacoma’s critical areas regulations. The project also involved coordination with Union Pacific Railroad for crossing replacements and construction within 25 feet of an active rail spur serving the mill. City of Tacoma Work Order plans were prepared for new channelization, ADA ramps, and curb gutter and sidewalk within Portland Avenue right-of-way. The $3M project was completed in the summer of 2015 on-time and on budget without impacting mill operations.