Thursday, May 21, 2015
Lehigh Valley company to build $30 million Navy sub-testing facility in Philadelphia
Jon Harris, The Morning Call
20 May 2015
The Lehigh County office of Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. has won a $30.3 million U.S. Navy contract to build a submarine-testing facility at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
The work is scheduled to begin immediately and is expected to be completed by November 2016, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Tuesday.
Whiting-Turner officials declined to comment on the contract or disclose how many employees work in the Lehigh County office, located on Tilghman Street in South Whitehall Township. They referred all questions to the Navy.
Thomas Kreidel, a spokesman for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic, said the test facility is being built for the Naval Sea Systems Command.
According to the contract announcement, the high-bay test facility provides a steel-framed addition to Building 633, including reinforced concrete foundations, insulated metal panel walls and large sliding doors.
The addition, Kreidel said, will house the enclosure needed to accommodate the submarine power and propulsion equipment that is being tested. The facility also will harbor the electrical and mechanical machinery required to perform testing, he said.
Site preparations, Kreidel said, include site demolition and rerouting wharf electrical distribution and other existing utilities — such as water, sewer and gas — that traverse 16th Street.
The Navy received two proposals for the work.
Founded in 1909, Whiting-Turner is headquartered in Baltimore, Md., and is one of the country's largest construction management and general contracting companies. Whiting-Turner has more than 30 offices across the United States, according to the company's website. The South Whitehall Township office is Whiting-Turner's only location in Pennsylvania.Locally, Whiting-Turner lost out on the contract to build Allentown's PPL Center in 2012. That job went to Alvin H. Butz Inc. of Allentown.