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Austin Point2022-05-12T11:30:52-07:00

Development Feasibility Studies Now Underway

The Port of Woodland owns 200 acres of prime heavy industrial property located on the banks of the Columbia River. Austin Point, the southernmost parcel and seven miles from Interstate 5, has the potential to be a port for Panamex ocean shipping-sized ships. The area is zoned for industrial use and is located within Cowlitz County. Development of this site has been considered since its original purchase in 1963. Additional land for a rail loop was purchased in 1977.

In 2019, the Port Commissioners voted to start exploring the development of the property. Two feasibility studies are currently underway. One study is looking at the economic potential and waterfront infrastructure necessary for developing a shipping terminal at Austin Point and the other study is looking at the infrastructure that will be needed to support that waterfront facility. These studies will help the Port Commission determine if developing the area is a good investment.

Visit our digital open house May 11-25 to learn about the Austin Point Development project. The Port wants to hear your comments and questions on the project.

Austin Point Development Goals:

The Port of Woodland has an opportunity to grow, and we want to do so in a way that supports the community. The feasibility studies will explore development options that

  • Help the Port become self-sustaining over time, eventually eliminating the Port tax across the district.
  • Create jobs and help diversify the economy in the region.
  • Improve recreation opportunities.
  • Improve public access to the river.
  • Build infrastructure to connect the future portside development to the BNSF rail line.

Austin Point Development Process

The feasibility studies are just beginning, and community input is a priority. There will be multiple opportunities for you to learn more and provide input to help determine what feasible development might be. This is the first step in a multi-year process.

Port of Woodland timeline
Port of Woodland timeline

Commitment to the Public

The Port welcomes opportunities not tied to fossil fuels and is committed to responsible development and enhancing public access to the river. The Port Commission has identified commodities that would and would not be considered at the Port’s marine properties. Resolution 448 Commodities details the commodity types under consideration.

FAQ

What is a feasibility study?2022-05-10T10:03:54-07:00

These studies will examine the potential opportunities to develop the port by examining economic benefit, cost of infrastructure, what is or is not allowed under legal and regulatory frameworks, and other trade-offs including environmental impacts and mitigation, property impacts, and duration of construction. The port development feasibility study will explore multiple opportunities and provide several alternative concepts for the Commission to consider. The transportation feasibility study is providing one concept that has gained BNSF approval for early input and some modifications can still be made.

When would development begin?2022-05-10T10:03:38-07:00

The Austin Point Development project is split into three phases—concept, design & permitting, and construction. We are currently in phase 1—Concept. If we decided to move forward, phase 2 Design & Permitting will begin in early 2023 and go through 2027. Phase 3 construction could be from 2028 to 2031.

How will development benefit Woodland?2022-05-10T10:05:37-07:00
  • If development is determined to be feasible, the Austin Point shipping terminal will attract business to be a major regional shipping player. The development will provide jobs to the community, align with regional long-range plans, and maximize the use of new road and rail infrastructure.
  • Austin Point development could also facilitate the export of Washington State agricultural products.
  • As stewards of public resources and trust, it’s our collective job to ensure that the Port of Woodland prioritizes business decisions that support residents, invest in the local economy, and reduce the burden on local taxpayers. Development should create jobs and revenue leading to the Port’s self-sufficiency and eliminating district taxes in the future.
  • Improved recreation access including
    • Easier access for shoreline fishing.
    • Handicap accessibility throughout Austin Point.
    • Enhanced access for everyone to enjoy the outdoors at Austin Point.
Why is the project expanding rail lines?2022-05-10T10:06:20-07:00

Port development requires the ability to connect goods to the river. This could be done by road or rail. A train-served shipping terminal at Austin Point could decrease greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75% over a road-served facility. Train service would also lower operating costs by reducing idling times, truck transport miles, and total vehicle miles traveled. Reducing truck traffic from the roads and highways decreases the potential for future congestion and avoids additional wear and tear on the roads.

What about environmental impacts?2022-05-10T10:07:48-07:00
  • The Port of Woodland has resolved to not accept businesses transporting hazardous materials or fossil fuels, thereby reducing climate impact and the risk of a major environmental event.
  • One train could eliminate the need for more than 2,000 semis and reduce carbon-emitting vehicles needed to support the port.
  • Environmental mitigation opportunities will be examined as part of the feasibility study and is specific to the different alternatives that will be proposed.
How many ships might come through the port each year?2022-05-10T10:09:15-07:00

We anticipate that 50 ships a year will be able to come in and out of the port.

How much of the needed property does the Port already own?2022-05-10T10:13:03-07:00

The Port owns a significant portion of the property needed for the project. We currently own 290 acres of the highlighted areas on the map.

How much of the needed property does the Port already own?

Land the Port owns.

What about public river access?2022-05-10T10:29:41-07:00

The Port of Woodland is committed to enhancing public access in the area and recognizes its significance to the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the local fishing community.  Opportunities to share your thoughts on river access can be provided to the team by sending an email to AustinPoint@portofwoodland.com and participating in our public events later this summer.

Conceptual design for public river access.

Conceptual design for public river access.

What happens to the land if the Port decides not to develop the area?2022-05-10T10:30:14-07:00

If the Port decides it is not feasible to develop the area, the land will be sold. The Woodland Bottoms properties are zoned for agricultural/industrial. The Austin Point properties are zone for heavy industrial. This means a private company could purchase the properties to develop.

How much will the Austin Point Development cost through construction?2022-05-10T10:30:32-07:00

This will be assessed as part of the feasibility study and evaluated based on the alternatives that are proposed.

Where is the money coming from to develop this area?2022-05-10T10:30:59-07:00

Funding for the project will come through different sources including federal and state grants as well as bonds.

How will this development make the Port of Woodland self-sufficient?2022-05-10T10:31:17-07:00

The intent of the feasibility studies is to determine a development option that would generate revenue for the Port of Woodland and allow for the removal of the Port tax on residents within the Port District. The Port will be paid per rail car and shipping tonnage coming in and out of the port.

Will hunting be allowed in the Woodland Bottoms?2022-05-10T10:31:42-07:00

Our insurance will not allow hunting on the Port’s property in the Woodland Bottoms currently or in the future.

Austin Point Industrial Marine Properties

The 200+ acre site is zoned for heavy industrial development since the purchase of the property in 1961. the Port has allowed this property along with Martin Bar to have public access into the property outside of mitigation and protected wetland areas with the purchase of a port pass for much of its ownership pending development. In 2008, a condition under the condemnation action in 1982-1984 for the rail loop property of no activity for 25 years, was lifted. In 2014, as the recession lifted and the economy improved, interest in deep water marine facilities on the Columbia River increased interest in Austin Point.

The Port continues its long range planning of the ability to develop and lease Austin Point for deep water industrial development. The Port Commission is steadfast in its decision to not sell the property, to maintain it for industrial development and work with potential developers to provide public access free to the community as required in the State of Washington.

The Commission has enacted two resolutions regarding development on marine properties along the Columbia River.

Austin Point Logo

Projects/Planning for Marine Properties

Austin Point Industrial Feasibility Dockside Study – Awarded to KPFF.

Kuhnis Rail Spur Feasibility and Engineering – Awarded to David Evans and Associates June 18, 2020.

Property Listings

PropertyMapTypeLand (acres)

Austin Point

Property Details & Photos

The Port of Woodland owns 200 acres of prime heavy industrial property located on the banks of the Columbia River. Austin Point, the southernmost parcel and 7 miles from Interstate 5, has deep draft feasibility and zoned industrial use and is located within Cowlitz County. More...

The site is currently used for dredge disposal for the Columbia River on 20 acres of upland riverside property. In addition, the 20-acre disposal site is leased and managed by West Coast Training. The Port of Woodland Commissioners allow the public to access the beach area with a day use pass available at the Port office. Major shipping ports are located at Kalama (8 miles north), Longview (25 miles north), and Vancouver (25 miles south), Washington.

The site is accessible through a developable rail loop on the opposite side of Dike Road. The loop would connect from the BNSF amin line and dual served by UP and BNSF. For more information on the rail loop property connection to Austin Point, please contact the Port office.

Map Property
Austin Point
Deep Water Draft200
Contact Us About Austin Point

Public Access Areas

The Port of Woodland has two properties along the Columbia River that allow public access for recreational use at no cost. Signs located at each property of Martin Bar and Austin Point indicate vehicle access areas, pedestrian access areas and areas with no public access.

During holiday periods of Memorial Day, Fourth of July  and Veterans Day as well as New Years at Austin Point will be further limited to provide safety for those accessing the area- vehicle access is limited and barricades and gates will be erected to limit vehicles accessing the area.

Map of public access areas

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