Eight months after the Seattle and Tacoma port commissioners announced their intent to create a seaport alliance, the two ports have voted to send the final agreement to the federal government for approval.

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Toasting to a milestone decades in the making, commissioners from the ports of Seattle and Tacoma poured Champagne on Friday to celebrate the two historically rival ports’ unanimous decision to send a plan to form a seaport alliance to the Federal Maritime Commission for an expected approval.

“For the 18 months we have been working on this, it has just been an incredible amount of work and something to be proud of,” Port of Seattle commission co-president Stephanie Bowman said during the meeting. “Forty years from now, people will be looking back at the actions we’re taking today and saying we did what was best for Washington state.”

While Port of Tacoma Commissioner Don Meyer has had reservations about the formation of The Northwest Seaport Alliance because it may have potential downfalls for Tacoma, he supported it in the end.

The maritime commission has a 45-day review period that includes 10 days of public comment. If, as expected, the ports get a green light, the commissioners will vote a final time. That vote is tentatively scheduled for the first week of August.

Mario Cordero, chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, was in Seattle last week and said he thinks it is important for ports that serve a common region to collaborate and thinks the Seaport Alliance is a “great idea.”

“What we look at is basically two factors: Is this going to result in unreasonable increase in cost to the industry and/or a diminished service to the industry,” Cordero said in an interview after speaking at a Washington Council on International Trade event. “So unless one of those two things happen, we see this as something that is beneficial not only to the port authorities, but to the region.”

The alliance is intended to unify the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma’s marine cargo terminal investments, operations, planning and marketing, which would allow them to operate more efficiently as larger container ships are built; the widened Panama Canal opens; and West Coast ports, such as British Columbia and Southern California, up their games.

While the ports will remain separate organizations with ownership of their respective assets, they will form a port-development authority to manage the container, break bulk, auto and some bulk terminals in Seattle and Tacoma. The airport; cruise business; marinas, such as Fisherman’s Terminal; grain terminals and industrial real estate will remain outside the alliance.

Not included in the agreement is the dollar values for the properties to be included in the alliance. The valuation of assets has been a stumbling block for the commissioners.

The idea is for an even split, so that once the alliance is formed, each port would receive 50 percent of the revenues and profits.

According to the Port of Seattle, the current valuation is $316.3 million for Tacoma’s assets and $329.6 million for Seattle, which makes the split 51 percent for Seattle and 49 percent for Tacoma. A breakout of asset valuations has not been released.

Port of Seattle Deputy CEO Kurt Beckett said the intent is still to have that valuation be an even 50/50 split. He said the numbers will not be locked in until the end of the year with another opportunity to balance the numbers in 2017.