(Photo via US Senator Reed)

12/14/2015 — NEWPORT, RI – U.S. Senator Jack Reed today was joined by Admiral Linda Fagan, the 1st U.S. Coast Guard District Commander, representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and Naval Station Newport, and Rhode Island construction workers for a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the completion of the new Coast Guard wharf project at Naval Station Newport.

A senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Reed worked over the years to secure over $30 million for the Coast Guard and U.S. Navy to upgrade the waterfront area and provide for the construction of an 18,000 square foot, two-story masonry building containing support facilities for the Coast Guard Buoy tenders assigned to Naval Station Newport.

“This upgrade to the waterfront at Naval Station Newport is critical for the Coast Guard personnel working to defend our coastline, as well as the many other agencies that utilize the base.  I was pleased to help direct federal funds home to Rhode Island to make these enhancements and build this new facility.  While we count on the Coast Guard and other national security agencies to always be ready, we also need to maintain and improve our infrastructure to make sure that they have the facilities and equipment necessary to carry out their varied missions,” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The project consisted of both shore-side and waterfront improvements to the wharf.  Shore-side improvements included construction of a Shore Operations Building, parking area, storm water management system to collect and treat runoff generated from the USCG facility, and demolition of an existing Navy building.  The project’s waterfront improvements included installing shore tie utilities, cleats, bollards, and fenders for three Coast Guard Cutters (CGCs); paving along the waterfront; dredging of 5,000 cubic yards of material between the piers to deepen water for the maneuvering and berthing of vessels; and extending the sheet pile wall to provide a longer mooring face.

Senator Reed first began securing funding for the project in Fiscal Year (FY) 2008.  An appropriation secured in FY2011 allowed construction to move forward.  Construction was completed this fall and the shore-side aspects of the project are expected to be fully operational this month.

The waterfront at Naval Station Newport is an integral part of operations for the Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) vessels.  Currently, Newport is home to three Coast Guard buoy tenders, CGC Juniper, CGC Willow, and CGC Ida Lewis, as well as the Patrol Boat CGC Tiger Shark, and NOAA’s Fisheries Survey Vessel Henry B. Bigelow.  It regularly hosts visiting vessels from these agencies, and supports the important work of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC).