The design goal was to develop a pier with a maintenance-free service life of 100 years that was flexible in function and location. This flexibility allows the capability to berth a range of Navy surface combatants with differing demands on utilities and access, and enables the Navy to move or reconfigure a pier as a naval base mission changes. Additionally, the pier mobility allows off-site pier construction, lowering the costs by accessing a larger construction market and minimizing the disruptions to naval station operations. The pier is minimally dependent on site parameters, such as soil condition, tidal difference, seismicity, and climate.
An initial concept study compared floating to fixed double-deck piers and investigated the durability of innovative construction materials. NFESC opted for a floating double-deck pier, referred to as a modular hybrid pier, comprised of concrete modules that join to form the desired length, and a fabricated in dry dock for subsequent transport and assembly at the site. A floating test bed was constructed in Tacoma, Washington, and towed to the U.S. Naval Station in San Diego, California, where it is being subjected to structural test and long term monitoring.