Historic California Posts, Camps, Stations and Airfields
Concrete Ship Constructors Shipyard

Under the sponsorship of the Defense Plant Corporation (a Federal agency), Concrete Ship Constructors developed a shipyard in National City CA to build concrete barges. They built both B7 tank barges, which were 375 feet long, with a deadweight of 6,600 tons, and designed to move refined products from the Gulf of Mexico to the Northeast, and B5 covered dry cargo barges, which were 265 feet long, with a deadweight of 1,632 tons. Their hulls 45-47 were completed with reefer capacity and hulls 48-49 were completed as maintenance barges.
The Concrete Ship Contractors built B7-A2 concrete tanker barge USS YO-144, circa 1943
Corps of Engineers History
LOCATION: The Concrete Ship Constructors site, located in National City, California, is part of the southern portion of the Naval Station San Diego.

SITE HISTORY: The U.S. Navy acquired a total of 100.32 acres of property for the Concrete Ship Constructors from the Maritime Commission on 3 October 1944. This land consisted of 66.93 acres of shipyard property plus 30.92 acres of underwater property, and 2.47 acres with a cement batch mixing plant across the Tidelands Ave. between Harrison Ave. and Cleveland Ave., and between 15th St. and 13th St. plant (acquisition records listed 2.27 acres for the batch plant and 100.12 total acres, but the figures cited here are believed to be correct based on real estate disposal documents). The site was originally controlled, financed, and developed by the Defense Plant Corporation (PLANCOR) for building concrete ships and barges. The construction of ships for Navy use was then carried out by the Maritime Commission until the Navy took over the operations. PLANCOR improvements for the shipyard included mold lofts, steel assembly buildings and steel racks, warehouses, machine and repair shops, mill buildings, wet docks, an outfitting pier, and cranes. Improvements for the batch mixing plant included aggregate bunkers, a cement silo, weighing and conveyor equipment, storage bins, and a truck ramp.
There is no information in the records to indicate that the Navy made additional improvements to the Concrete Ship Constructors. The Navy used the property from 1944 to 1948 to build concrete barges and oil tankers, and to repair steel and concrete ships. The Navy disposed of three properties associated with the Concrete Ship Constructors. The Navy divested the title to 16.3 acres
of the shipyard construction property to the city of National City on 17 September 1947 under court order. This 16.3-acre property, shown on the U.S. Naval Station Real Estate Summary Map
No. 1202245 as Parcel 41, and on the National City Lands Map revised 9 September 1947, includes property west of, and including some of Tidelands Avenue. This property was then conveyed to the San Diego Port District in 1963. It is currently used for a lumberyard and lay-down storage, and was used by a ship repair contractor. In addition, a 1.38-acre parcel of the shipyard construction property adjacent to the 16.3 acres already released to National City was sold to a private landowner, according to the Quitclaim Deed dated 17 December 1959. This acreage was Parcel 4 of the Navy's original acquisition in 1944.

This property includes the railroad spur crossing Tidelands Avenue. Based on the available information and the site inspection, it appears that all Concrete Ship Constructors improvements on these properties were demolished. Underground storage tank leaks and removals, and hazardous waste spills have occurred on these properties since they were surrendered by the Navy,
according to County records. However, based on the records review and discussions with the Port District, there is no indication that these environmental problems were associated with the Navy use of the properties.

The 2.47-acre batch mixing plant was sold to a private landowner on 18 August 1949. This property was initially used as a scrap metal recycling yard. Currently it is used as part of a scrap
metal yard, by some manufacturing businesses, and for truck storage. Based on the available information, the site inspection, and a discussion with the scrap metal business, it appears that all Concrete Ship Constructors improvements on this property were demolished. No records or other evidence were found of environmental contamination due to Navy improvements or activities.
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Updated 23 June 2017