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NEWS | June 1, 2023

Multiple teams across command join forces to help make long-awaited Burwell Tunnel renovation project a reality

By Ben Hutto, PSNS & IMF Public Affairs

When Capt. Jip Mosman, commander, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility, cut the ribbon at the newly renovated entrance of Burwell Tunnel on May 9, it symbolized the culmination of months of planning and hard work by multiple teams across the command.

The Burwell Tunnel entrance, which more than 2,700 PSNS & IMF employees use each weekday to enter the shipyard, was renovated with new paint, signs and sculptures to highlight the shipyard’s history and pay homage to the landscape of this region.

Images of orcas and fish complement silhouettes of shipyard workers along the walls, and the new color palette mimics the paint schemes of both submarines and Navy ships. The result is a unique look, which highlights the history and mission of PSNS & IMF.

“For many of our employees, the tunnel is the first thing they see on their way into work and the last thing they see on their way home each day,” said Mosman. “It’s important for the tunnel to be representative of our people and our mission, along with our commitment to our community outside the gates. The imagery on these walls represents our employees and our most important customer — our Sailors — and helps us visualize that connection to our mission.”

Mosman thanked Shop 11/17, Shipfitters, Forge and Sheetmetal; Shop 38, Marine Machinery Mechanics; Shop 56, Pipe Fitters; Shop 57, Piping Insulators; Shop 64, CPFs, Sail Loft and Shipwrights; Shop 71, Painters; Shop 99, Temporary Services and Code 1160, Public Affairs Office, for the work and effort they all contributed to the project to ensure its completion.

In addition to upgrading the look of the tunnel, the renovation also improved the safety of the entrance by using non-skid paint on the floors. This special paint will provide more traction, helping pedestrians avoid slips and falls when conditions are wet.

Dean Henderson, a first-level supervisor with Shop 71, Painters, was one of many employees present at the ribbon cutting. He estimates it required six to ten people working daily on the project for approximately two months to ensure its timely completion.

“So much planning went into this,” said Henderson. “It shows just how much the people working on it care about what we do here. This tunnel shows that this is a special place where special work takes place.”

As his time as shipyard commander draws down, Mosman said he was pleased to see the tunnel upgraded for the future generations of shipyard workers who will continue to enter the shipyard every day, for decades to come.

“This is another example of the incredible creativity and craftsmanship of our workforce, and the diverse ways we can apply our expertise to unexpected projects,” he said.