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News / Business / Clark County Business

Woodland port leases last section of Columbia River access for heavy industry

By Caleb Barber, The Daily News
Published: June 14, 2024, 8:59am

LONGVIEW — The remaining heavy industrial site at the Port of Woodland’s Columbia River property has been leased, following more than six decades of the port not offering deepwater access.

The port signed an 80-year lease last week with California-based Granite Construction for Martin Bar South. The agreement comes roughly two months after the a lease was signed with Oregon-based Wilsonville Concrete Products for 15 acres at Martin Bar North.

The civil construction company, specializing in asphalt and aggregate, is leasing  a 25-acre strip of land between the Columbia River and Dike Road west of the Woodland Bottoms.

Port Executive Director Jennifer Wray-Keene said both companies signed 80-year leases and are being offered reduced rates prior to buildout.

The leases each state the companies will eventually pay $900 per acre a month, but for now the port will start charging the companies a quarter of that rate as they conduct studies needed before construction.

Once construction starts, the port plans to raise the rate to $450 a month, and then the full amount once the facilities opens.

Wray-Keene said Granite expects the upland development construction phase to take less than a year, but development of the in-water dock may take longer, as the company reviews the types of vessels needed to use the facility over the next several decades.

Granite plans to provide construction materials for infrastructure projects across Southwest Washington and the Portland Metropolitan area.

Brad Estes, senior vice president of construction materials at Granite, said the company plans to use up to 40% recycled asphalt pavement and reduced truck trips and petroleum products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the construction of the terminal.

Though the site is expected to host between three to five jobs, Wray-Keene said the increased access to construction products is expected to drive up commerce across the region. The port has additional property on the water. Austin Point, a 200-plus-acre site further south at the confluence of the Lewis and Columbia rivers, is also being eyed by the port for recreational development.