Georgia Marina Repairs 2016 Hurricane Damage

In September and October of 2016, Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew delivered a one-two punch that knocked out operations at Frederica Yacht Club on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Working from July through November 2017, Bellingham Marine completely rebuilt the marina and its 78 slips, despite some work delays due to Hurricanes Irma and Marie.

Bellingham Marine worked with the yacht club to help it find the dock solution that was both functional and affordable. Some of the concrete floating dock sections built by Bellingham Marine in the 1980s had survived the 2016 storms. “We were able to use those to rebuild the attenuator, which has been effective at the site over the years,” said Steve Ryder, manager of project development, southeast division, Bellingham Marine. “One of the benefits of a modular system like that is that you can take it apart and put it back together or use it in a situation like this for repair/replacement.”

The restored marina consists of an A dock and a B dock, plus the 384-foot long by 11-foot wide wave attenuator dock. Bellingham designed the Unifloat concrete docks and manufactured them at its southeast division plant in Jacksonville, then demolished and removed the existing damaged docks before installing the timber piling, the docks and utility systems for the slips.

Although the old docks had withstood many storms, the new concrete docks may be able to take even more punishment. “The original floats were cast in the 1980s and 1990s. There have been a number of improvements made to the Unifloat system over the past 25 years, which have improved the system’s durability, longevity and performance – especially at sites where the docks are exposed to extreme weather events,” Ryder said. “These improvements can be seen in the overall system, the individual float modules, the dock components, the anchorage system, and in the manufacturing process. The concrete mix design used today is much heavier and more durable then what was used 30 years ago. The minimum deck thickness has almost doubled and the type and amount of reinforcing has been improved upon as well.”

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