Pile Driving to Begin at the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center

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Date: March 23, 2009
Contact: Denise Emsley, 808-471-7300

Watts Constructors, LLC, was awarded the $32.6 million firm-fixed price contract on September 24, 2008. Healy Tibbitts Builders, Inc. has been hired as the project’s pile driving subcontractor. The company plans to mobilize, move their crane, and begin pre-drilling for test piles the week of March 16.

Test pile driving will commence on March 23 and continue until March 25 from 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday – Friday. Healy Tibbitts will be driving 12, octagonal shaped piles that are 125 – 200 feet long and 16.5 inches diameter. Subsequently, production pile driving will begin on April 30 and end May 27. During this time, 102 piles will be installed and activity will be from 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Phase 2B of the project will begin in early 2010 and pile driving will commence again, first with seven test piles, then production pile driving of 66. The size, shape and lengths will be similar to the previous phase 1B work.

Phased construction is key to making this project possible, allowing the National Park Service to fulfill its mission to provide continuous operations during construction. Watts Constructors, LLC, the U.S. Navy, and National Park Service personnel are working together to make sure all visitors are safe and able to experience as much as possible of the current USS Arizona Visitor Center’s offerings and amenities during this time.

The project’s construction plan identifies two phases in the building of the new Arizona Memorial Visitor Center replacement project with three sub phases.

Phase 1: North portion of the site plus waysides. The existing visitor center will remain open to visitors while new facilities are constructed on the North and West portions of the site.

·         1A – Set up service access for loading/deliveries to existing visitor center during construction. (completed)

·         1B – Build new visitor center elements at North portion of site.

·         1C – Prepare parking area, fence, entry and walkway for phase-2 use.


Phase 2: Demolition of the existing visitor center and construction of new exhibit pavilions. New facilities on the North portion of the site are open, including access around West edge wayside paths to dock. Existing visitor center is demolished (except for the two theaters) and new facilities are constructed at the South portion of the site.

·         2A – Modify bus turn around and visitor access for use with new visitor center entry.

·         2B – Demolish existing visitor center and build at South part of site (to include theater renovations)

·         2C – Provide final access, paving and planting.


The USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center replacement project will be constructed on 17 acres and provide approximately 17,750 sq feet of building space (not including the two theater renovations).


The new complex will house state of the art exhibits, and accommodate 1.5 million people, 362 days a year. It will include a ticket office, concession, administrative and support areas, exhibit space, theaters, and restrooms, plus various site improvements such as, crosswalks and walkways, security walls, fencing, landscaping, and vehicle and bus parking areas.


Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii is administering the construction. The estimated completion date for this project is September 2010.

Last updated: March 1, 2015

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