1961 - 1979

The 1960s brought booming retail and industrial growth and transportation improvements. Access into Longview from I-5 was improved. Port expansions included construction of Berth 7 on land formerly occupied by the Long-Bell Lumber Company, construction of an alumina ore import facility at Berth 5, and expansion of the grain elevator. A computerized cargo tracking system was developed to manage the Port's rapidly growing warehouse and distribution business.


  • The Port constructed a new office building at the end of Port Way. Administrative staff still occupy the building today.


  • The Port constructed a new bulk facility at Berth 5 to handle inbound alumina for the Reynolds Metals Company.
  • On October 12, 1962 the Columbus Day storm left a trail of damage running into millions of dollars.
  • International Paper Company announced plans for a milk container plant.


  • The Port developed a computerized cargo tracking system for nationwide distribution of import merchandise. An updated version of this system is still used today.
  • The Port purchased 37 acres of real estate from International Paper Company.
  • Weyerhaeuser announced it would begin producing fine papers and specialty plywood, and build a new chlorine and caustic soda plant.
  • Reynolds Metals Company marked its 20th anniversary.
  • Longview Fibre Company launched a $25 million expansion to boost production.


  • Tolls were removed from the Longview-Rainier Bridge on October 19, 1965.


  • The Port's largest project to date, development of Berth 7, marked the beginning of an upriver expansion on property formerly occupied by the Long-Bell Lumber Company. The completion of the berth resulted in 4,000 lineal feet of berth space, enough to accommodate six ships at once.
  • Portland General Electric Company announced plans to construct the world's largest nuclear-power generating plant near Rainier, Oregon.


  • Port Commissioners approved the purchase of 266 acres of property in Willow Grove as a future industrial site.

Circa 1960s

  • The Longview Wye and Harry Morgan Bridge over the Cowlitz River were constructed, giving better access to I-5.
  • The war in Vietnam escalated, more young people were drafted, and protest activity increased.
  • The Port constructed a new two-million bushel capacity elevator at the grain elevator facility leased by Continental Grain Company.

The 1970s

In the 1970s containerization began to make a strong impact on world trade and an increasing number of products were being imported from the Orient. A large percentage of Port operations involved warehousing and distribution of merchandise. Warehouse 18 was built to accommodate S S Kresge (K-Mart). A heavy-lift crane was installed to handle large imported cargo, and the Port continued to handle forest products, bulks and breakbulks.


  • The Port was handling close to six million tons of cargo annually. It was the third largest port in Washington and the second largest on the Columbia River. Principal commodities included outbound grain, logs, lumber, pulp, aluminum, paper, foodstuffs and machinery. Inbound commodities included canned goods, plywood, veneer, earthenware, tapioca, tea, wire, toys and dry goods.
  • The Columbia Giant heavylift crane, rated at 600 tons, was installed at Berth 3, specifically to handle massive nuclear containment tanks for the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant under construction near Rainier, Oregon.
  • Portland General Electric dedicated the 499-foot cooling tower at the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant in May 1972.
  • Longview Fibre Company announced a two-step expansion plan to add another paper machine.


  • Bob McNannay became General Manager of the Port in December 1973.
  • Reynolds Metals Company announced a major pollution control program.


  • Warehouse 18 was constructed to accommodate the S S Kresge Company, a Port warehouse and distribution customer. In 1977 the S S Kresge Company name was changed to Kmart Corporation.


  • The Port purchased 41 acres of real estate from International Paper Company. In 1980 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers used the site to place sand and ash dredged from the Columbia River after Mount St. Helens erupted.


  • International Paper Company laid off its cabinet division and other workers.