Curtis Bay yard awarded contract to repair cutters

February 10, 2005|By Meredith Cohn | Meredith Cohn,SUN STAFF

The U.S. Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay has been awarded a $30 million-a-year project to repair and modernize 27 of the service's aging medium-endurance cutters.

Maryland lawmakers, who jointly announced the work with the Coast Guard, said the increased work should secure the yard's jobs for years and further cement Curtis Bay's role in national service. About 690 people, mostly civilians, work at the yard, which was established more than 100 years ago to maintain and repair the service's cutters.

The project is expected to last seven to 10 years. The cutters are expected to be replaced in the next 15 to 20 years.

A warehouse opened at the yard in 2003 can accommodate the inventory, some 3 million parts, that keeps the entire service's fleet going. The yard has also been awarded other repair work in recent years.

"This project will ensure that the Coast Guard's aging cutters are fit for duty. That means getting back on the job faster and safer - getting back to securing our ports, performing search and rescue missions, apprehending drug smugglers, protecting our marine resources and other vital missions," said U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, who was joined by Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, all Maryland Democrats, in making the announcement.

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