The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) will initiate its planned 10-year program this year to modernize the infrastructure of the U.S. portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway, following President Obama’s signing on March 11 of the omnibus appropriations bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2009. The bill includes a total of $31.8m for the Seaway, which serves the Great Lakes region of North America.
The enacted funding includes more than $17m allocated to 17 projects under the Seaway’s Asset Renewal Program (ARP). A significant amount of the ARP funding in FY 2009 will benefit the regional economy surrounding the two U.S. locks in Massena, N.Y.
“After 50 years of continuous use, the U.S. Seaway infrastructure needs significant capital investment,” said U.S. SLSDC Administrator Collister Johnson, Jr. “By enacting this law, President Obama and the U.S. Congress have recognized the vital importance of the St. Lawrence Seaway to the North American economy.”
Over the next decade, the ARP will focus on improving aging Seaway infrastructure, conducting maintenance dredging, investing in new technologies, purchasing new equipment, and refurbishing old facilities. This will be the first time in the Seaway’s history that a coordinated effort to repair and modernize the U.S. Seaway infrastructure has taken place.
ARP also will complement the asset renewal work already underway on the Canadian portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway System. None of the ARP projects will result in increases to the authorized depth or width of the navigation channel or to the size of the existing U.S. locks.
A copy of the SLSDC’s Asset Renewal Program Capital Investment Plan can be found at www.greatlakes-seaway.com/en/pdf/SLSDC_Asset_Renewal_Plan.pdf.
11. Navy Names LCS USS Coronado
Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter announced that the fourth littoral combat ship (LCS) will be named USS Coronado.
The announcement continues the practice of naming the agile LCS vessels after American mid-sized cities, small towns and communities. The ship is named in honor of the patriotic citizens of Coronado, Calif. Home to Naval Air Base North Island (NASNI) and Naval Amphibious Base (NAB), Coronado has been home to the Navy since 1917.
More than 90 tenant commands reside at NASNI, including the Naval Aviation Depot, the largest aerospace employer in San Diego. The base is homeport to two aircraft carriers, USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).
NAB Coronado has approximately 5,000 personnel and more than 30 tenant commands including Naval Surface Force Pacific and Expeditionary Warfare Training Group Pacific. The base is also home to Naval Special Warfare Command including several SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) and special boat teams, and the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training center.
Two previous ships have been named for Coronado. USS Coronado (PF 38), a Tacoma-class patrol frigate, earned four battle stars for supporting landings in New Guinea and Leyte during World War II. USS Coronado (AGF 11) served as flagship for the Third Fleet and was decommissioned in 2006.
Designated LCS 4, Coronado will be designed to defeat littoral threats and provide access and dominance in coastal waters for missions such as mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare. There are two different LCS hull forms – a semiplaning monohull and an aluminum trimaran – designed and built by two industry teams, respectively led by Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. These seaframes will be outfitted with reconfigurable payloads, called mission packages, which can be changed out quickly. Mission packages are supported by special detachments that will deploy manned and unmanned vehicles and sensors.