BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) and Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Northwest (NAVFAC NW) held a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the completion of Pier Bravo at Naval Base Kitsap (NBK), Feb. 13.
Congressman Norm Dicks, U.S. House of Representatives, District 6, attended the ceremony.
"It is a great pleasure for me to be here today to mark the completion of the most significant improvement in the overhaul capability here at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard [and Intermediate Maintenance Facility] in several decades," said Dicks. "This project, the upgrade and expansion of Pier Bravo, is absolutely critical to the future of the Shipyard. The longer and stronger pier and the enhanced efficiencies this new construction will allow adds even greater value to the Navy's strategic assets here at Naval Base Kitsap."
Ship repair, maintenance and modernization requirements for Nimitz-class aircraft carriers determine Pier Bravo's concept and multi-year construction.
"The new Pier Bravo will not only give us the capability to work on today's nuclear powered aircraft carriers, such as the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), but this project provides the [shipyard] with all the essential infrastructure that our nation's next generation of aircraft carriers will require," said Dicks.
The pier is the primary support facility providing essential services to aircraft carriers during Docking Planned Incremental Availabilities performed in Dry Dock 6.
"This project demolished the existing Pier Bravo, constructed a new ship repair wharf and provided additional space for the lay down you see here today," said Capt. Pat Rios, commanding officer, NAVFAC NW. "It is continuous with Dry Dock 6 and, used together, creates a carrier hub where carrier material readiness can be conducted."
Now Pier Bravo is 120 feet wide by 1,320 feet long, making it more than twice as wide and 125 feet longer than before construction started in May 2008.
"Pier Bravo's structure is 6 million pounds of reinforced steel, 13,000 yards of concrete, and over 5 miles of piping and 14 miles of electrical cabling all to make this happen," said Rios. "All that investment is investment that went out into the community to help during these tough economic times. It is fantastic investment both in the capability of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and IMF, the community here in Bremerton and this entire area."
With the improvements to Pier Bravo, the shipyard workforce can be more efficient by eliminating waste, transportation, and waiting, by bringing the work force closer to the worksite.
"That's what this does for us. I can't wait until we start using it more and more," said Capt. Mark Whitney, commander, PSNS & IMF. "We are poised for the future. We are very close to being able to have the Ford-class here, the next generation aircraft carrier."
During the construction of the pier, two key contract milestones were successfully completed by Nova Group and joint venture partner Tutor Saliba, contractors for the pier.
First, the completion of supporting the overhaul of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in Dry Dock 6, Nov. 1, 2010. Then, overall completion of the pier in time to support the arrival of the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Jan. 10.
"It was a really tough job to get started; we had a few obstacles to overcome. We pulled it together, and you can see it's a great project that came in on time and on budget and made it in time to see the Ronald Reagan here," said Scott Victor, president of Nova Group. "It is really nice to see [Ronald Reagan] pulled up to the Pier, everything plugged in and turned on and everything working very, very well."
Also, critical to the completion of Pier Bravo was the effort that the Suquamish Tribe made working on concerns over the environmental impacts to the fish.
"We wanted to make sure the project was done right and that means paying attention to the environment," said Dicks. "I appreciate the tribe's timely assistance in this regard. As I said earlier, this new and expanded pier will serve the next generation of Navy carrier fleet."
The pier will also provide a homeport berthing space for another aircraft carrier at NBK.
Pier Bravo was originally constructed in 1946 costing more than $1 million.
For more information, visit www.navy.mil, www.facebook.com/usnavy, or www.twitter.com/usnavy.
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest, visit www.navy.mil/local/nwpacen/.