TILLAMOOK - Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) and Governor Kitzhaber's Regional Solutions Team joined Port of Tillamook Bay staff to celebrate the groundbreaking of the port's first FEMA Alternate Project at the POTB Industrial Park.

"The Port Board is excited to have the first project hitting the ground, with a local contractor and local partner," said Michele Bradley, port general manager.

She referred to a project in which the port's existing truck scale will be replaced and another scale added. "This will ease the traffic congestion at the scales and provide a service to port tenants," she said.

A traffic study conducted at the port in June indicated more than 2,100 vehicles crossed Blimp Boulevard - one of the port's industrial park main thoroughfares - in a 24-hour period. Stimson Lumber, which leases space at the port's industrial park, will contribute a 25 percent match for the project, said Bradley.

Hooley Building Systems, of Tillamook, is the project contractor.

The Port received millions of dollars from FEMA after a December 2007 storm damaged its railroad. Instead of spending funds on the railroad, port commissioners determined the monies would be better used for remodeling and upgrading existing port structures and building new facilities at the port's industrial park.

For more information, visit www.potb.org.