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September 14, 2018

Bill with $162M for Kittery shipyard heads to Trump's desk

Photo / Jim Neuger
Photo / Jim Neuger
Federal legislation that would provide over $162 million for improvements at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery has received U.S. Senate approval and is expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Federal legislation that would provide over $162 million for improvements at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery has received U.S. Senate approval and will be considered by President Donald Trump for signing into law, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Thursday in a news release.

The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, which passed the Senate on a 92-5 vote, includes $110 million for improvement of the superflood basin at the shipyard's Dry Dock 1, $40 million to extend the dock's portal crane rail, and $12 million for an addition to the Defense Logistics Administration consolidated warehouse.

Trump "looks forward to signing the legislation," according to a White House statement.

The upgrades will ensure that the shipyard can efficiently dock Los Angeles-class and Virginia-class submarines for maintenance and renovation, while handling submarine parts to support the U.S. fleet worldwide, according to the release.

Collins, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard "is critical to southern Maine's economy and our national security. These construction projects will help ensure the readiness of our nation's submarine fleet and provide valuable support to the hard-working employees at the shipyard as they repair and modernize Navy submarines."

A 2017 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that Portsmouth and the country's three other naval shipyards are in poor condition, with nearly $5 billion in backlogged maintenance and restoration projects, which will take at least 19 years to complete.

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