The Navy is announcing today
that it has decided to remove the (former) USS Barry from its longtime home along the banks of the Anacostia River at the Washington Navy Yard
"After 30 years as a display ship with minimum maintenance performed, the hull is in poor condition and must be removed before construction begins in October 2015 on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge replacement
with a fixed span that would land-lock Display Ship Barry."
The letter goes on to say that the Barry is not eligible for historic landmark status, and "as such will be dismantled for recycling."
There are apparently no plans at this time to replace the ship.
Readers have been asking lately about the work recently begun to demolish the piers near the Barry--if the Barry is going to be dismantled in place, removing the nearby piers would seem to be tied in with that. *
The switch to a fixed-span design for the new Douglass Bridge resulted in a savings of about $140 million
in estimated construction costs and an additional expected savings of $100,000 a year for drawbridge maintenance and operation, though the city did "initiate discussions" with the Navy and the Coast Guard about the design change. This Barry announcement does seem to be a confirmation that there will be no drawbridge added back in.
Here is the Wikipedia entry on the Barry
, for those who want to know her history. She was commissioned in 1954, decommissioned in 1982, and moved to the Washington Navy Yard in 1984, as seen in this keen photo
. She was the third of four (so far) ships named for Commodore John Barry
, America's first commissioned naval officer and man credited as "the father of the American Navy" (or at least he co-parented it with John Paul Jones).
UPDATE II: Technically, it's not the "USS" Barry anymore, it's the DS Barry. I knew this. Was in a hurry.
* UPDATE III: A spokesman from the Navy Yard writes to say that only two of the piers are being removed--one other is being restored, and the fourth is being left untouched. And that this is not tied to the fate of the Barry.