Port of Lewiston Facts and Figuresby Staff
Missoulian, July 10, 2010
Port authority was granted by Nez Perce County voters in 1958; the first shipments left the port in 1975 after Lower Granite Dam was built 39 miles downstream on the Snake River.
The most inland port on the West Coast (465 miles from the Pacific Ocean).
Consists of the 85-acre Northport on the waterfront of the Clearwater River, a 117-acre industrial park that includes the county's new jail, and a 47-acre business and technology park under development in the heart of Lewiston.
One of just four container ports on the Columbia-Snake River System.
A $2 million budget; roughly 40 percent comes from container yard revenues, 30-35 percent from leases of buildings and properties, and 20-plus percent ($450,000) from a county property tax.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is authorized by Congress to maintain a navigation channel 250 feet wide and 14 feet deep. The port is at the top of Lower Granite Dam's slack water, and buildup of silt and the dredging projects that result have been problems. The channel at the Port of Wilma, just downstream, is roughly 100 feet deep.
According to port manager Dave Doeringsfeld, an average of 700 to 750 tons of wheat and barley are shipped from the Port of Lewiston each year.
Ninety percent of everything grown in the Lewiston area is exported overseas. Soft white wheat, used in noodles and crackers and favored on the Pacific Rim, is the primary export commodity.
Twenty percent to 23 percent of grain shipped from the port comes from east of Idaho - Montana, the Dakotas and Wyoming. That's down from 25-30 percent in the last decade or so.
An economic impact study by the University of Idaho estimated that 1,888 jobs have been created both directly and indirectly from Port of Lewiston activities.
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