News Release, NAS Pax River Public Affairs Office

PATUXENT RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION, MD–The Navy is planning to rebuild the East Seaplane Basin (B-1176) at NAS Patuxent River and is seeking public comments on this undertaking.

This historic property, which dates to 1942-43, when the Base was originally constructed, was one of three seaplane basins built on the Base when the U.S. Navy tested and operated seaplanes. Although seaplanes were important in World War II, carrier-based planes are now the norm and the Navy currently has no operational seaplanes. Today, the East Patuxent Seaplane Basin is used for occasional munitions offloading operations, and the other two seaplane basins for port operations and recreational boats.

The proposed repair method involves driving steel sheet piling on the waterside, adjacent to the existing concrete bulkhead walls. The angled batter pilings, which are present along most of the walls, would be removed below the mudline at the bottom of the basin. The caps on the existing walls will be demolished, and the new sheet piles will be anchored inland with tiebacks to deadman pilings. The tieback installations will necessitate cutting, removing and replacing sections of the existing concrete and asphalt apron along the wall, particularly along the south and east walls.

The basin repairs include the removal of the unused seaplane ramp (B-1170) that is currently in poor condition, with significant deterioration in the intertidal zone, where large holes penetrate the ramp. While the ramp is a historical resource, there are three other seaplane ramps of the same design in the other two basins on the Base. One of these other ramps is still functional for recreational boats.

As this project will alter some of the historic characteristics of the seawall, we have determined the project will have an adverse effect on a historic property, as per the National Historic Preservation Act. While our efforts have minimized these effects, a mitigation program will be implemented.

If you have any questions or concerns about the East Basin Seawall Project, please contact Craig Lukezic, Cultural Resource Manager, at craig.lukezic@navy.mil.


David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...