Port of Everett Dolphin Berth Improvements

Our friends at Orion Marine Group won a fun little project improving the old Weyerhaeuser waterfront facility for the Port of Everett. The project includes rebuilding the tops of the two existing dolphins and adding a third dolphin close to the wharf.  The photo below (from the Port of Everett website) shows the site, with the two dolphins visible between the two ships that are berthed parallel to shore.

Atlas’ role is pretty minor, just running wave equation analyses, but there’s some really great aspects to the work that I find really satisfying:

  1. The existing dolphins had excellent pile monitoring back in 1994 (by Gary Henderson’s crew at GeoEngineers Tacoma) and so we know a lot about how the new piles are going to drive. I was able to calibrate the new WEAP model to the old driving records before switching hammers and pile types for the predictive runs.
  2. It’s always a treat to work in new terrain.  I have a rudimentary understanding of marine stratigraphy in Puget Sound, but I would not have guessed that the soils are as deep and as soft as I see on the logs.  So I leave the project just a little bit smarter than I started it.
  3. The guys at Orion are always coming up with innovative ideas, and Atlas does our best work for innovative contractors. They have an idea for avoiding a tide-related schedule impact that I’m not sure any other contractor would have suggested, and it’s requiring a very innovative analysis to confirm that it’s feasible.  There’s real money on the line too, which makes the work more engaging.

We’ll wrap up our computations over this weekend and then, if all goes as expected, propose a change to the dolphin modification drawings that could be really beneficial to the Owner and Contractor both. Smart and diligent contractors should always be successful, and it’s a real pleasure to be a part of Orion Marine’s continuing growth.