Background

Foth provided waterfront/structural engineering and resident engineer services to the MA Clean Energy Center (MA CEC) for the Marine Commerce Terminal (MCT) in New Bedford, MA. Foth also developed and evaluated the design criteria and site constraints for the project.

The MCT consists of a 1,200-linear foot bulkhead system with deep-water access and roughly 20 acres of port terminal space. The terminal was designed to support the construction, assembly, and deployment of offshore wind projects, and handle bulk, break-bulk, container shipping and large specialty marine cargo. Design criteria for the site includes a uniform live load of 4,100 psf and a structure to support the use of “super lift” 1,200 ton crawler cranes, with crane track loads of 8,500 psf. Other design considerations included seismic analysis and vessel berthing loads. These design criteria were the basis for all designs evaluated in the feasibility study and alternatives analysis.

The analysis included consideration of permitting feasibility, site conditions, flexibility of design to address site conditions, risk associated with constructability, duration of construction, capital costs, and facility life cycle maintenance costs. Foth, in collaboration with the Owner, created a matrix ranking system to evaluate the alternatives. The preferred alternative was steel cofferdams with a pile supported concrete relieving platform. Foth strived to develop a structure with extended service life and relatively low maintenance cost in the marine environment by using marine grade steel for the sheets and pilings, galvanized reinforcing steel, and a waterproofing membrane on the concrete slab.

Foth designed the foundation and superstructure, oversaw in-situ jet grouting to seal the toe of sheets and included the installation of concrete mattresses for scour protection. We collaborated with the design team on blasting. Foth’s team reviewed all submittals during construction and were full-time on-site during construction. The MCT is the first purpose built marine terminal along the east coast designed for high loading capacities.