ARRA Project Completed by NAVFAC Hawaii at Pearl Harbor, Wins ASCE Award

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PEARL HARBOR – A final inspection of the extensive repair and upgrade work to historic submarine Wharf Sierra 1 was completed on Nov. 24, 2010, with Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii finishing another American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) at Pearl Harbor.

“The renovation of Sierra 1 has been an interesting and challenging project,” said Robert Losey, NAVFAC Hawaii construction management engineer. “All the innovations and adjustments of design the contractor made while executing this task will pay the Navy dividends in the future and has already been recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Hawaii Section for the 2010 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award in the Large Project of the Year category.”


NAVFAC Hawaii awarded the $10,629,904 design-build contract to Healy Tibbitts Builders, Inc., on April 24, 2009. The project was to upgrade the aging submarine wharf, enabling the accommodation of the Navy’s newest and largest Virginia-class submarines, as well as the older Los Angeles-class.

With the 2010 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises on the horizon, California-based Moffatt & Nichol worked efficiently on the design and completed it within two months. This allowed the first phase of construction (eastern berth) to be finished before the June 23, 2010 kickoff of RIMPAC. The second phase (western berth) resumed in late July and was also completed ahead of schedule in late November.

Work included the rehabilitation of existing concrete deck, piles, pile caps, beams and curbs. Additionally, 159 piles of the wharf’s fender system were replaced with new, precast concrete fender piles.

Rather than perform numerous patch repairs, nearly 20,000 sq. ft. of the pier’ surface was replaced with a new full-depth deck that was cast-in-place using a concrete mixture with shrinkage-compensating qualities to reduce cracking, further increasing the wharf’s strength and prolonging its service-life.

This project also saw the implementation of sustainable practices such as the use of reinforced plastic lumber, industrial wet/dry vacuums to collect debris, and the recycling of all demolished concrete and steel materials, preventing them from filling Oahu’s landfills. Additionally, a permanent oil spill containment system was installed to prevent leaks or debris from entering harbor waters.

“From my perspective as Healy Tibbitts Project Manager, this is a good example of NAVFAC Hawaii partnering with us on a successful design-build project,” said Art Lambert. “As a result, we delivered the Navy a better project than what was originally planned while completing it ahead of schedule and within budget constraints, which is very important for an ARRA undertaking.”

In addition to completing the pier repair work, under a separate contract awarded to Healy Tibbitts and funded by the NAVFAC Hawaii Utilities, new electrical switchgear was concurrently installed to power Sierra 1. The newly renovated pier with its modern electrical system will be fully functional to support ships and submarines with 1,600 amps of reliable power.

Submitted by NAVFAC