Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery. Credit: Rich Beauchesne | Portsmouth Herald

KITTERY, Maine — U.S. Sen. Susan Collins announced Thursday the fiscal year 2019 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, including more than $162 million for Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, is headed to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

The three projects approved for the shipyard include $110 million for the Dry Dock 1 superflood basin improvement, $40 million to extend Dry Dock 1′s portal crane rail and $12 million for the Defense Logistics Agency’s consolidated warehouse condition.

According to a statement from the White House, “President Trump looks forward to signing this legislation.”

Collins, a Maine Republican, is a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee. The bill passed in the Senate by a vote of 92-5.

“I have long advocated for the Navy to address the modernization needs at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and I am pleased that the Senate approved funding for these much-needed improvements,” Collins said in a statement. “PNSY is critical to southern Maine’s economy and our national security.”

Credit: J. Scott Applewhite | AP

These projects are set to ensure the shipyard can efficiently dock both Los Angeles and Virginia class submarines to conduct maintenance, support the requirements to execute Los Angeles class service life extensions in years to come, and expand an outdated warehouse facility that will help the shipyard receive, inspect and distribute submarine components for worldwide fleet support.

Shipyard commander Capt. David Hunt has been out in the community recently talking about the important of the work at Dry Dock 1. The dock can now only accept the older Los Angeles class subs, which will be phased out by 2029. The other two docks have already been upgraded for the Virginia class.

The need to modernize dry docks at the nations’ four public shipyards was underscored in a Government Accountability Office report last fall. It estimated the Navy needs to spend $4 billion in the next 20 years on dry docks alone, and $20 billion overall to modernize the yards’ facilities, which it rated as “poor.”

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