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Sunday, March 3, 2024
March 3, 2024

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Dock of ages: Crews begin demolishing Vancouver port’s Terminal 1 dock to make way for public market

By , Columbian staff writer
3 Photos
Construction began at the hundred-year-old Terminal 1 dock Tuesday, as work begins to transform it into a public market.
Construction began at the hundred-year-old Terminal 1 dock Tuesday, as work begins to transform it into a public market. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Construction is underway at the Port of Vancouver’s Terminal 1 dock on the Columbia River as work begins to transform the structure into a public market.

Crews began work demolishing the deck of the structure, which sits just downstream from the Interstate 5 Bridge, on Tuesday. Passersby will see more work being done in the coming months.

“In our effort to bring a public market to the Vancouver waterfront, the removal and replacement of the century-old dock is another important milestone,” said Jonathan Eder, the port’s Terminal 1 redevelopment project lead.

Nearly a thousand wood pilings are going to be removed during the demolition process. Most of them date back to the 1920s, and many were treated with creosote.

The port is using a methodical process to remove the old pilings, extracting them without placing them back in the river. Eder said the port is still a few years away from having a new seismically resilient dock.

New pilings should be installed and ready for the construction of the new dock by January 2026.

The demolition will take place during three “in-water work windows,” when threatened and endangered salmon species are least likely to be there.

The first window, which lasts from this month to January, will include demolishing the existing dock and removing the pilings.

The second window next fall will see the crews working on ground improvements and rebuilding the bulkhead wall where the dock meets the shoreline.

During the final window in fall of 2025, crews will install some 200 steel pilings to support a new dock.

Venerable history

The Terminal 1 dock dates back to the early 1920s, when a large municipal dock was built and then expanded along Vancouver’s waterfront. At the time, the dock was built to further enable the area to export local products. Lumber was soon shipped out, followed by prunes and shingles.

The Port of Vancouver took over the dock in 1926 and built its Terminal No. 1 warehouse on an extension of the dock’s timber structure. The property is known as the “birthplace of the port.”

Eventually, the port’s shipping operations moved west to its other terminals, though Terminal 1 is now used as a cruise ship port.

In the 1960s, the property became home to the venerable Inn at the Quay — later renamed the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay. The business closed in 2015, and the WareHouse ’23 restaurant operated in the old Terminal No. 1 warehouse building from 2016 to 2020.

Future marketplace

The port is planning to build its much-anticipated public market on the new dock. Construction for that is currently planned for 2026 and 2027.

Port officials say the 40,000-square-foot marketplace will be akin to Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market. The warehouselike structure will house various retail shops, according to the port.

“We know the community is ready and eager to add this ‘crown jewel’ visitor destination to our Terminal 1 location, and we’re excited too,” said Eder.

“It will be worth the wait, and we’ll be watching excitedly with everyone else as new life is breathed into the 100-year-old birthplace of the port,” he said.