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New Keyport pier could be done by late 2002
Work is continuing on the Naval Undersea Warfare Center at Keyports new pier on the shore of Liberty Bay.
The new facility will support the bases small fleet of boats and a torpedo-retrieval ship, which currently use two other piers at the base.
Pier 1 on the east side of the base was constructed in 1915, according to Project Engineer Greg Alsin. Pier 2 was built in 1917.
Both piers underwent extensive renovations in the early 1940s during World War II.
Alsin is overseeing the $5.9 million pier project, which is being built by Poulsbo-based General Construction Company. The job is expected to be completed by the end of 2002.
"By building a new pier, we estimated a net savings of $3 million over restoring the two older piers," Alsin said.
The new pier will be nearly 200 feet long and 28 feet wide, with a 120-foot-long floating pier attached to its eastern end. Alsin said the floating pier will be used for smaller craft which would be affected by tides. The stable pier would be home to the larger torpedo-recovery ship.
A second floating pier will serve as a berth for the admirals and captains barges.
The new piers will be accessed via a 550-foot-long by 15-foot-wide trestle extending into Liberty Bay just north of Pier 2. Part of the old pier was removed earlier in the construction process.
"The pier isnt perpendicular to the trestle, so it aligns with the predominant currents," NUWC spokesperson Diane Jennings said.
Alsin said the trestle will be "super safe.
"There will be Jersey barriers on each side so you cant drive off it," Alsin said. "And it is fully rated for any vehicle that can be driven on the highway."
The new pier and trestle are supported by environmentally friendly coated-steel pilings. The older piers are supported by creosote-coated pilings, which will be removed.
"This way we get all of the creosote out of the water," Alsin said.
Creosote, a distillate of coal tar, contains impurities that are toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic, according to a report by the Newfoundland Environmental Industry Association. It is used to provide protection against destructive insects and marine borers in pilings, utility poles and railroad ties.
Due to environmental regulations designed to protect migrating salmon in the spring, Alsin said crews will not work in the water from Feb. 15 through July 15, although the floating piers can be moved into place by tugs during that period after they are built off-site. Work will continue on parts of the pier not in contact with the water.