WSP's engineers designed a 700- by 100-foot floating concrete wharf for the Port of Valdez. The wharf, the first of its kind in the world, was designed for full-service container transfer operation in all-weather conditions. The modular structure was designed to be favricated off site in two pieces that were post-tensioned together at the site to act as a monolithic unit. WSP also designed two steel cargo transfer bridges, which link the floating wharf to a 21-acre marshaling yard.
This innovative floating design concept was chosen over a fixed structure to overcome potential liquefaction and unstable soils present in this high seismic area. Additionally, the modular/on-site assembling concept substantially aided the overall construction at this site, which is typically burdened by heavy snowstorms ans 22-foot tidal fluctuations. Special design controls were kept in order to maintain project costs, which were demonstrated to be n more than the cost of a conventional fixed structure.
In addition to the design, the WSP team provided on -site inspection and engineering during prefabrication of the modules, which were constructed more than 1,400 miles from the project site and support the integration of the elements in Valdez.