PORT ANGELES — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has given the Navy permission to remove a jetty at Ediz Hook for a 425-foot submarine-escort-vessel pier that will jut into Port Angeles Harbor and require pile-driving to construct.
The Corps determined late Monday that the jetty’s removal on the grounds of Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles will not harm efforts by the city of Port Angeles and the Corps to control erosion on the Hook, Corps spokeswoman Patricia Graesser said Tuesday in an email.
Col. John Buck of the Corps of Engineers’ Seattle district office signed the permit Monday evening, fulfilling the permit request by U.S. Naval Base Kitsap, she said.
The approval will pave the way for the Navy to begin building the 425-foot dock for a $25.6 million Transit Protection System, which also includes upland facilities such as sleeping quarters, construction on which began in December.
The dock and ancillary facilities including an armory and fuel-storage tank are being built 0.4 miles east of the Coast Guard station’s entrance gate.
The pier will contain six moorage berths for security escort vessels 33 to 250 feet long that will accompany ballistic-missile submarines transiting the Strait of Juan de Fuca for exercises.
The pile-driving for the dock was scheduled to begin Dec. 1 and be completed by Feb. 15 but has been held up by the Corps permit.
The “fish window” that protects salmon, and which has been open, closes in three weeks, on Feb. 15, restricting in-water construction until it reopens July 16.
The entire project, under contract with Watts-Orion Joint Venture of Gig Harbor, is scheduled for completion by February 2018.
“The Navy plans to issue a contract modification today [Jan. 24] that will lift the partial suspension of work on in-water construction activities,” Navy spokeswoman Silvia Klatman said in an email late Tuesday afternoon.
“A revised schedule is not currently available.
“The Navy will be following up with the construction contractor, Watts-Orion, to further discuss the anticipated path forward, as well as request an updated schedule,” Klatman said.
The Section 408 authorization issued Monday was required under Section 14 of the federal Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899,
According to a Jan. 5-11 public notice that included solicitation of comments for the authorization, more than 7,000 cubic yards of jetty material would be removed for the pier.
The project “is not injurious to the public interest and does not impair the usefulness of the project pursuant to Section 408,” Buck said in his determination.
Conditions of approval include the Corps completing an on-site inspection once the jetty material is removed.
The jetty that will be removed extends 215 feet south of the shoreline and is covered by a concrete slab.
The material consists of 4,450 cubic yards of crushed rock and 3,200 cubic yards of large rock, according to the public notice.
“We are pleased that all of the project partners are moving forward, enabling the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy to meet their national security missions,” Capt. Alan Schrader, Naval Base Kitsap commanding officer, said in a prepared statement.
Public notice of the permit was not published in the Peninsula Daily News, which is about 4 miles southeast of the Coast Guard station.
”The Section 408 public notice was posted on our website and sent out to a distribution list maintained by our regulatory branch,” Graesser said.
“It includes agencies, tribes, local entities, groups and citizens.
“I believe our paper of record is the [Seattle] Daily Journal of Commerce.”
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].