Navy brass celebrates completion of Pier 32 at Sub Base

The Day

By: Kimberly Drelich

November 22, 2022

GROTON — Navy officials and supporters gathered Monday to celebrate the Naval Submarine Base's new Pier 32, a nearly $70 million project to help modernize the base's waterfront for the Navy's next generation of submarines.

"It's a proud day for every member of the Naval Submarine Base New London team as we're committed to positively impacting SUBASE's fleet, fighters, and families through the best infrastructure and service support we can deliver," said Cmdr. Reg Preston, executive officer of the submarine base, who spoke before an audience of about 60 people, including Navy, submarine base and Coast Guard representatives and government officials.

The new 68-foot by 525-foot Pier 32 replaces the original pier built in 1978 and will serve as a modern pier for the Navy's newest submarines, according to Capt. Ken Curtin, commanding officer of the submarine base

Curtin said the completion of the project "marks a key step in a waterfront modernization that ultimately assures SUBASE will be ready to provide for the next generation of Virginia-class fast attack submarines."

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, said that ever since the Naval Submarine Base avoided a base closing 18 years ago, a cascade of resources has greatly improved the infrastructure and operations of the base, thanks to the leadership in the state and a commitment by Congress.

Courtney said this latest improvement of Pier 32 will lock in "the enduring mission of this base for decades and decades to come" and is built for the new class of submarines under construction.

Curtin said the older pier was "really only suitable for one submarine at a time," while the new pier meets updated requirements for submarine berthing and is wide enough to berth Virginia class or Los Angeles class submarines on both sides.

As part of the project, about 25,000 yards of material were dredged and the navigation channel was widened, Curtin said.

The pier is intended to be "climate resilient" with raised electrical infrastructure to help protect against damage from flooding, he said. The pier is also made of materials that "wear better, last longer and require less maintenance."

Weeks Marine, Inc. of Cranford, N.J., was the prime contractor on the project, and the designer of the project was a joint venture of Moffatt & Nichol and Stantec, Curtin said.

The modernization of the base's waterfront next calls for extending Pier 31 and building a new Pier 8, according to the Navy.

Click here to view this article as it appeared on the website.