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November 25, 2019

Cianbro wins $158M contract for upgrades at Kittery shipyard

File Photo / Jim Neuger Cianbro Corp., based in Pittsfield, has won a federal contract to modernize a dry dock at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

Pittsfield-based Cianbro Corp. has received a $157.9 million contract to modernize a dry dock at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.

The contract award, announced Friday by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., calls for Cianbro to build a “super flood basin” and a new portal crane system at the yard’s Dry Dock No. 1.

The upgrades will ensure that the shipyard can efficiently dock the Navy's Los Angeles-class and Virginia-class submarines for maintenance and renovation, according to a news release.

Cianbro will construct the 3.5-acre super flood basin — similar to a canal lock — at the entrance to the dry dock. When complete it, the basin will artificially raise the surrounding water level so that the subs can dock without the use of buoyancy assist tanks. The dock’s current buoyancy system is more than 40 year old and due to be decertified next year.

Cianbro will also construct a new portal crane rail and upgrade the existing one to support a high-capacity crane that’s required for servicing the nuclear reactors aboard the submarines.

“PNSY is the gold standard for all public shipyards, and this project will help the highly skilled employees continue to carry out their mission of ensuring that our submarines are always ready to answer the call of duty,” Collins said in the release.

Collins, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, advocated for the contract funding in the fiscal year 2019 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill that was signed into law last year.

Work is expected to be completed by March 2022.

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