The deck for the Navy’s submarine escort pier at the Coast Guard base on Ediz Hook has been completed. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Navy finishes deck for pier in Port Angeles Harbor

PORT ANGELES — The deck for a combined Navy pier and trestle that juts more than a football field length into Port Angeles Harbor has been completed, a Naval Base Kitsap spokesman said last week.

“The trestle piles, pile caps and deck are finished as well as installation of the pier piles and floating dock guide piles,” spokesman Jake Chappelle said this week in an email.

“Concrete form work began Aug. 7.”

The $25.6 million Transportation Protection System (TPS) pier and support facilities at Ediz Hook are being built to accommodate up to seven escort vessels for Bangor Naval base submarines and their crews.

Located just inside the entrance gate to Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles, it will include a 425-foot-long pile-supported pier and trestle that will berth up to seven escort vessels for Bangor-based Navy submarines.

The trestle will provide access and utility services to the pier.

An 8,200-square-foot Alert Forces Facility, built upland from the pier and equipped with sleeping quarters and office space for 20 to 30 personnel, will be completed by Feb. 6, Chappelle said.

The overall project, which includes an above-ground 10,000-gallon diesel fuel storage tank and a weapons armory, should be completed by July 2018, depending on ongoing negotiations with the contractor, Chappelle said in the email.

The planned deadline was February.

Coast Guard and civilian mariners will operate the TPS to ensure Coast Guard crew rest requirements are met for submarine-crew training missions in diving and surfacing to and from the Hood Canal.

While work proceeds, Canadian-based Cooke Aquaculture is moving forward with plans to relocate its Atlantic salmon fish-farm pens away from the Port Angeles Harbor site near the pier to 3.8 miles east of Ediz Hook and 1.8 miles north of Morse Creek.

A Clallam County hearing examiner hearing on the Shoreline permit will be at 2 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Clallam County Courthouse.

Cooke purchased Seattle-based Icicle Seafoods, which owned the Port Angeles fish farm, in 2016.

“The former Icicle Seafoods laydown area will be removed as a mitigation measure in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources,” the Navy said in the update statement.

“The laydown area removal is part of a June 2016 memorandum of agreement between the Navy and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe to mitigate project impacts on tribal treaty rights.”

A rock jetty will be removed under an Army Corps of Engineers request as “compensatory mitigation” under a corps Clean Water Act permit to address the loss of aquatic habitat due to pier construction, the Navy said.

Jetty demolition will take out 16,800 square feet — nearly half an acre — of fill in aquatic tidelands east of the Coast Guard’s Ediz Hook entrance gate.

The fill extends 215 feet south from the shoreline and is protected by a rock and timber bulkhead capped by a concrete slab, which will also be removed, the Navy said.

“The shore restoration will be consistent with the surrounding natural areas and encourage colonization by eelgrass and marine animal life,” the Navy.

Little more than a month after work resumed, the Navy’s submarine escort pier project just inside the Ediz Hook Coast Guard base is on track for completion next year, with the dock deck installed and upland facilities scheduled to be finished in February.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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