In recent years, COWI Marine has completed two pier and wharf design-build projects – the Port of Redwood City Wharves 1 and 2 and the US Navy Pier 12 Replacement. While both projects have a number of similar features, COWI Marine played a different role in each. At the Port of Redwood City, COWI Marine was selected to be the owner’s representative, producing the design-build bridging documents and providing oversight to the final design and construction. On Pier 12, COWI Marine provided pre-bid and final design to the selected contractor, Manson Construction, and was engineer of record for the project. This article provides some background on these projects and highlights the similarities and differences between COWI Marine’s role on each project.
Port of Redwood City
The Port of Redwood City, located approximately 18 miles south of San Francisco, provides deepwater access for bulk, neo-bulk, and liquid cargoes. The Wharves 1 and 2 project entails demolition of an existing timber wharf and construction of a new concrete wharf, approximately 425 feet 60 by feet in plan. The terminal is used to offload aggregate from Panamax vessels. Additional project features include a new seawall, slope protection, demolition of an existing warehouse, construction of a new longshoreman’s building, upgrades to site utilities, and other general civil improvements. COWI Marine’s role began in 2011 and construction was completed in early 2014.
As COWI Marine’s role was the owner’s representative, one of the first tasks undertaken was coordination of the necessary site investigations including a geotechnical exploration, hydrographic and topographic surveys, and hazardous material surveys. COWI Marine worked closely with the Port to define not only the current needs of the wharf, but also the potential future uses. After exploring several options, COWI Marine selected a prestressed concrete pile supported concrete wharf as the solution that best met the functional and budgetary requirements of the Port. Once the project had been defined, COWI Marine applied for and obtained the necessary state and federal permits. As the permit process is often on the critical path of projects, COWI Marine started this process early and worked closely with the respective agencies to promptly address regulatory concerns, streamlining the process.
COWI Marine and the Port elected to use a two-step RFQ / RFP process to select the final design-build team. Working closely with the Port, COWI Marine created the RFQ and RFP documents, defined the selection criteria, and participated in the final award process. Once the design-team was selected, COWI Marine’s role shifted into oversight – both of the final design documents as well as the construction. COWI Marine performed quality assurance on the project, responded to submittals and RFI’s on behalf of the Port, and assisted the Port in reviewing and negotiating changes in the work.
US Navy Pier 12
Naval Base San Diego is the largest base of the United States Navy on the west coast of the United States and is the principal homeport of the Pacific Fleet. The existing 30 foot wide by 1,458 foot long Pier 12 was originally constructed in the 1940’s and due to the limited width and old age, its ability to accommodate the operational demands of the Navy was restricted. The Navy determined a new general purpose pier was required to meet the current and future needs of the Pacific Fleet. A design-build project delivery method was selected for the new 117 foot wide by 1,500 foot long pier with a required 75 year service life. The Navy and its consultants prepared RFQ/RFP bid documents which were released for bid the summer of 2011.
COWI Marine teamed with Manson Construction for the project based on our prior successful working relationship on the Pier 10/11 replacement, the previous design build pier replacement project at Naval Base San Diego. COWI Marine worked closely with Manson Construction to provide a bid design that met both the Navy’s RFP performance requirements but also provided the most economical and constructible solution. COWI Marine selected plumb 24 inch octagonal pre-stressed concrete piles and a reinforced cast-in-place concrete deck with a flat deck soffit, advantageous for the lifespan of the pier since beams under the deck typically will deteriorate before the deck due to the closer proximity to the water. COWI Marine optimized the pile configuration to meet both the seismic and operational load requirements but also taking advantage of Manson’s available formwork and marine equipment. The design-build team was awarded the contract based on best combined technical and price value to the Navy.
COWI Marine, as engineer of record for the team, was responsible for the final structural, coastal, civil, demolition, and dredging design of the new Pier 12. In addition, COWI Marine coordinated the geotechnical, mechanical, and electrical design performed by subconsultants. COWI Marine provided detailed design of all structural components and provided the berthing and mooring analyses for the variety of Pacific Fleet vessels home ported at the Naval Base. COWI Marine worked closely with Port Operations from the Navy to optimize the size and spacing of the mooring hardware, fender systems, and deck equipment for the full range of vessels. Working closely with Manson and the Navy, COWI Marine was able to address any concerns the end user had and was able to complete the design on schedule in summer 2012.
COWI Marine provided engineering support to Manson during construction. Services provided included submittal reviews, responding to RFI’s, and site observation. Working with Manson’s onsite construction team, COWI Marine was able to establish a system of prioritizing RFI’s and submittals to benefit schedule. Construction of the pier was completed in February 2014.
The design-build project delivery method is becoming more common for waterfront projects. When successfully implemented it can provide tremendous savings in time and money for an owner while at the same time giving a contractor an opportunity to optimize a project to utilize their specialized knowledge and equipment. These two projects demonstrate COWI Marine’s ability to work both with owners and contractors on successful design build projects. The Port of Redwood City Wharves 1 and 2 and US Navy Pier 12 projects continue COWI Marine’s long history of helping design-build projects become great successes.