PORT ANGELES — Construction on the Navy’s 425-foot submarine-escort-vessel pier project in Port Angeles Harbor will be delayed until after July 16, when piles will be driven for the dock.
The Navy did not get permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under Section 408 of the U.S. Code until Monday to remove a jetty to build the pier.
“Because the current in-water construction window closes Feb. 15, there is limited time for the contractor to mobilize before that window closes,” Navy spokeswoman Silvia Klatman said Wednesday in an email.
“The window opens again on July 16, and we anticipate that opening will be the start of the in-water pier construction work.”
The $25.6 million pier project, known as a Transportation Protection System, is being built as a rest stop for escort-vessel crews that accompany submarines based at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor to comply with Coast Guard requirements for crew rest between escort missions.
The dock will be located 0.4 miles inside the entrance gate of Coast Guard Air Station/Sector Field Office Port Angeles.
Dock construction will include 75 pile-driving days for installation of 80 temporary and 144 permanent in-water piles, according to the August 2016 environmental assessment of the project.
Land on the Coast Guard base is being cleared for a 21-foot-tall, 8,200-square-foot building with offices and facilities for 20 to 30 personnel and temporary sleeping rooms.
It will house up to 56 personnel. An armory and fuel storage facility also will be built.
The contractor is Watts-Orion Joint Venture of Gig Harbor.
The project is scheduled for completion by February 2018.
Jeff Robison, general manager of Watts Construction of Gig Harbor, which is the managing partner for the project, said in an earlier interview that the project, including a pier trestle and the dock itself, extends south 425 feet from the Ediz Hook shoreline.
The pier will hold up to seven vessels 33 to 250 feet long, according to the environmental assessment of the project.
Environmental activist Darlene Schanfald of Sequim objected Thursday to what she said was the lack of public notices for the Corps’ authorization for the removal of the jetty, built as part of an erosion control project for the Hook.
Schanfald said she represents the Olympic Environmental Council, Sierra Club North Olympic Group and Protect the Peninsula’s Future for comments on the pier project.
The permit notice for the jetty removal was published in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Patricia Graesser said in an email.
“The public was not notified that there was a public opportunity to comment on the permit,” Schanfald said Thursday.
Schanfald said objections to the project include noise impacts and assertions that facilities already exist for crews escorting submarines.
The Navy determined an environmental impact statement was not necessary.
A public notice for the jetty removal was published between Jan. 5 and Jan. 11.
“A 408 review/permission is not a permit, and although a public notice is required, there is no minimum notice period,” Graesser said Thursday.
“The distribution list used for this 408 public notice was the same as the one used for the Corps 2016 Environmental Assessment for the Ediz Hook Revetment Repairs and Beach Nourishment Activities: FY2016-2026.
“The 408 review had a scope that was narrowly limited to the potential for the removal of the jetty to affect the federal erosion control structure.”
Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].