Publish and Present
Vessels are getting larger in size and volume capacity to streamline the transport of goods. Current vessel sizes calling at the Port of Long Beach have increased up to 18,000 TEUs and are continuing to increase in size. The aging wharf structure at Pier J, Berths 245-247 needed an upgrade to the structural capacity of the landside crane rail for the newer and taller ship-to-shore (STS) cranes to accommodate these larger vessels.
The aging Pier J wharf was constructed in two phases. The original wharf, designed for a crane rail load of 24 kips/ft, was built in the late 1960s and was 67-foot-wide by 2,040-foot-long. This wharf was widened in the early 1990s by approximately 50 feet on the waterside and 18 feet on the landside. The wharf consists of a multi lift rock dike and has a water depth of 48 feet. The existing condition of the wharf structure did not have adequate capacity to support the taller STS cranes.
Based on an evaluation of the existing conditions, the landside crane rail needed to be upgraded to support a crane vertical wheel load of 35 kips/ft for an approximately 1,450-foot-long segment of the wharf to accommodate the larger vessels. However, the upgrade had to avoid disruption to the operator, who services approximately two vessels per week. Through detailed coordination and collaboration with the tenant, the construction was organized into three phases to minimize disruption of operations. The tenant set a stringent schedule and the design/construction team delivered on time and within budget.
This paper presents the evaluations/analyses required and the design alternatives considered for the upgrade at Pier J. In addition, design/construction lessons learned and highlights of some of the innovative features that resulted in significant savings for construction costs and schedules are discussed.