PORT ANGELES — A pier and support facilities for Naval Base Kitsap submarine escort vessels will jut into Port Angeles Harbor from Ediz Hook at U.S. Coast Guard Group/Air Station Port Angeles within the next 18 months.
A contract for the 22,303-square-foot trestle and floating pier is expected to be awarded Tuesday, naval base spokesman Jake Chappelle said Thursday in an email.
Congress has approved $20.6 million for 2016 for the project as part of the naval base’s Transportation Protection System (TPS) for ballistic-missile submarines plying the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the base on Hood Canal.
“With Coast Guard personnel and civilian mariners operating the TPS, the staging area along the vessel transit route will ensure crew rest requirements aren’t exceeded between TPS missions,” the Navy said in a news release.
Brenda Abel-Kiser, chief estimator for Napa, Calif.-based Nova Group Inc., a project bidder, said the contract called for a maximum 18-month contract duration.
The company would hope to hire 20 local employees for the project.
Information on the length of the pier or when construction will begin was unavailable Thursday and Friday.
According to the request for bids, the trestle will provide pedestrian access and utility services to a fixed pier with six vessel berths.
The system utilizes up to nine naval vessels from 33 to 250 feet long.
Each berth will have power, potable water, fire protection, sewage connections, ship-overboard drainage collection, fueling connections and telephone and local-area-network service.
The scope of work also includes an option for an 8,300-square-foot “alert force facility” with an administrative wing and berthing space for 28 personnel.
Environmental impacts from the project include loss of marine habitat, construction noise, loss of revenue by Icicle Seafoods (now called Cooke Aquaculture Pacific), and temporary disturbance of marine sediments and marine mammals, fish and birds, according to the Navy news release.
Scuba enthusiasts also have expressed concerns about damage to and loss of access to an underwater riprap reef known as “the rock pile,” a popular scuba-diving attraction.
“The Navy will perform compensatory mitigation for loss of aquatic resources,” the statement said.
“Additionally, the Navy will perform treaty mitigation for impacts to tribal treaty resources, which involves rock armoring removal, imported fill and debris, concrete and asphalt pads, and storage structures at the Icicle Seafoods laydown area, grading to create a low slope beach, sand and gravel beach nourishment and native vegetation, and removing a nearby derelict building.”
The company had planned to move its salmon pens away from the new pier.
Innes Weir, general manager of Cooke Aquaculture Pacific LLC, in Seattle, which owns Icicle Seafoods, did not return a call for comment Friday afternoon.
“The Navy and Coast Guard evaluated several alternatives (some generated by the Navy and Coast Guard and others suggested by the public) to enable the Coast Guard to perform the submarine escort mission within USCG regulations, based on selection factors, such as location, security, current operations, facility infrastructure and support facilities,” the Navy release said.
The Navy and Coast Guard considered designated pier facilities already used at the Port of Port Angeles in Port Angeles Harbor and Naval Magazine Indian Island, Neah Bay, existing facilities at the Coast Guard base and forgoing construction altogether.
The selected alternative utilizes a site a half mile east of the Coast Guard base entrance and will include an armory and an above-ground fuel tank and distribution system.
The Transportation Security System, which relies on multiple vessels to escort ballistic-missile submarines, was established after the Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Cole was bombed in 2000 in a terrorist attack while the ship was harbored off Yemen.
The final environmental assessment, the Navy’s decision and the finding of no significant impact can be viewed at http://go.usa.gov/tAr4.
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].