The U.S. Coast Guard has awarded a contract to expand its shoreside facilities at East Tongue Point in Astoria, the USCG announced July 12.
The winning bid was placed by GWWH, a joint venture team comprised of Granite Construction, Webcor Construction LP, Weeks Marine, Inc. and Healy Tibbitts Builders, Inc.
The $30 million contract provides design-build improvements at the facility to accommodate the homeporting of fast response cutters (FRCs). The facilities are planned to include a fixed pier, two floating docks, gangways between the docks and pier, cutter shore tie utilities on the pier, underground utilities on the shore, new pavement and parking and a security fence around the site.
Additionally, the contract includes dredging 96,500 cubic yards of sediment and an additional 18,000 cubic yards of clean sand fill.
“The expansion of the facilities at Tongue Point is the first critical step in bringing the newest class of cutters to the Oregon Coast,” said Capt. Scott Jackson, Sector Columbia River Commander. “The Fast Response Cutters that will be stationed in Astoria will ensure that future generations of Coast Guard men and women continue to provide expert service to the people of the Pacific Northwest for many years to come.”
FRCs are the newest class of ships currently being produced for the Coast Guard. At 154 feet in length and a maximum speed of more than 28 knots, the FRC is designed for multiple missions including drug interdiction; ports, waterways, and coastal security; fisheries law enforcement; search and rescue and national defense.
Each ship is slated to have a crew of 24 crewmembers and will be augmented by shoreside personnel, according to the USCG. Forty-five of the vessels are currently in service in the U.S. and abroad.
The FRCs, each of which are named after Coast Guard enlisted heroes, are replacing the aging island-class 110-foot patrol boats.
“The FRC project delivers vital capability to the Coast Guard, helping to meet the service’s needs in the coastal zone and adjacent waters,” the USCG said in a statement. The FRCs feature advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment; over-the-horizon cutter boat deployment to reach vessels of interest; and improved habitability and seakeeping.
The first FRC to arrive in Astoria at the updated East Tongue Point facility is expected to arrive in March, 2024. Maintenance and sustainment personnel begin arriving in summer 2023, according to the Coast Guard.