Skanska to build U.S. Navy explosives wharf

June 12, 2012 at 5:03 PM
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SILVERDALE, Wash., June 12 (UPI) -- Skanska's U.S. unit will earn $149 million from a U.S. Navy contract for building an explosives handling wharf in Silverdale, Wash.

Skanska is joining two other firms -- American Bridge Company and Nova Group Inc. -- in the project, which carries a value more than double what the U.S. unit of the Swedish construction joint will receive.

Construction work on the facility along the east coastline of Hood Canal is expected to begin immediately and be completed by January 2016, the companies announced.

Hood Canal is a natural waterway, a fjord forming the western lobe and one of the four main basins of Puget Sound in the state.

Hood Canal made headlines in 2006 after scientists discovered a dead zone in its water where low oxygen decimated all marine life. The oxygen recovery program is continuing and aims to improve the quality of water and encourage more species to return to the area.

Hood Canal separates the Kitsap Peninsula from the Olympic Peninsula in the state. The U.S. Navy's Naval Base Kitsap, Bangor Annex, is on Hood Canal's eastern shore, near the town of Bangor.

The U.S. Department of the Navy's Naval Facilities Engineering Command Northwest is in Silverdale.

Building work on the wharf is likely to create about 100 jobs, many of them possibly local as they'll include mainly construction-oriented employment.

The project includes construction of the wharf, wharf cover, warping wharf and approach trestle connecting the wharf to the shore.

Additional elements will include a wharf support building within the main wharf cover, lightning towers, supporting facilities and utilities such as communications systems, cathodic protection, site improvements, and two overhead crane systems with crane rails and supporting infrastructure.

Skanska USA has headquarters in New York and operates four business units in the United States, employing about 9,400 people.

In other U.S. Navy contracts, Sparton Corp. and USSI, a subsidiary of Ultra Electronics Holdings Plc., announced the award of subcontracts valued at $12.9 million to their ERAPSCO joint venture, for the manufacture of 17,000 passive sonobuoys for the Navy.

A sonobuoy usually is a small expendable sonar system, about 3 feet long, that is dropped or ejected from an aircraft or ship during anti-submarine warfare or underwater acoustic research.

ERAPSCO will provide a production subcontract worth $4 million to Sparton Electronics Florida, Inc. and another worth $8.9 million to USSI.

Production of the sonobuoys will take place at Sparton's DeLeon Springs, Fla., facility as well as USSI's plant in Columbia City, Ind., and is due to be completed by January 2014, the companies said.

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