US Naval Base Japan’s upgraded maintenance pier is on time and on budget, officials say

Construction of Pier 5 at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan was underway on September 16, 2021 (Daniel Betancourt / Stars and Stripes)

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, JapanThe largest U.S. naval base in Japan is just one year away from completing a $ 128 million project to replace a infrastructure and expand its vessel maintenance capabilities.

Located at Truman Bay in the southwest quadrant of Yokosuka Naval Base, Pier 5 fixed to a single bridge will replace an older version that could no longer support crane operations or ship repairs and was demolished l ‘last year.

“This jetty, when completed, will directly allow the fleet to prepare immediately by providing much-needed berths, as well as maintenance capabilities that did not exist here before,” said Tim DeWitt, commander of Naval Facilities Engineering System Command Far East, in an interview. Thursday with Stars and Stripes.

Tokyo-based Penta-Ocean Construction Co. is working on the project alongside the Engineering Command.

Congress has allocated the money to build the 672-foot pier in 2020. It is expected to be completed in September 2022.

Among its improvements over the previous pier are improved utilities – such as water and electricity – and the ability to accommodate larger classes of ships, such as cruisers. The jetty can also dock up to two ships at a time, according to DeWitt.

Project engineers also customized the design of the jetty to extend its lifespan from a standard 50 years to 75 years by reinforcing concrete and using specialized materials to reduce wear.

“Every 50 years seems to come pretty quickly when it comes to installations,” DeWitt said. “Extend this [lifespan] will help save future money and support dollars.

Alberto Serrano, supervisor of the construction manager, said the project had managed to stay on budget and on schedule despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“There were a lot of adjustments we had to make at the last minute that were really unprecedented,” Serrano said. “But we have been able to adapt.

The original pier, which was a floating structure, was built in 1950 and served hundreds of ships, according to the Navy. DeWitt recalls mooring alongside the previous pier as a young officer early in his Navy career.

“I used to sit on that old pier when I was ensign on a ship,” DeWitt said. “To see that replaced now, almost 30 years later, it’s pretty awesome.”

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