Watchdog report: Aging Navy shipyards costing billions

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Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The watchdog agency for Congress says the Navy’s aging public shipyards are failing to fully meet the military’s needs.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Tuesday that a Government Accountability Office report is sharply critical of the four facilities.

It found that a backlog of projects to maintain and restore ships will take 19 years to clear. The cost of the backlogged projects has grown 41 percent to an estimated $4.86 billion.

All of the shipyards were built at least a century ago. And they were designed to deal with older vessels, reducing their efficiency.

The four facilities are Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Washington; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine; Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Hawaii; and Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia.