The Bluffs Marina, in 2019, engaged WGI, Inc. to provide an assessment of the condition of the seawall, adjacent upland sidewalk, and retaining wall. It was discovered that the concrete sheet panels (a component of the king and batter pile seawall system) had been undermined. The undermining had resulted in a significant soil loss behind the seawall, and voids were discovered up to six feet deep in some locations. This was deemed a condition of concern for the public accessing the marina. The marina further engaged WGI to provide a series of solutions for stabilizing the wall.
These solutions ranged from constructing a toe wall directly in front of the existing seawall to completely replacing the king and batter system. WGI worked with the town of Jupiter during the design and permitting process to monitor the wall during this period. WGI, based on its observations, made recommendations to the marina and town regarding closing sections of the sidewalk to the public.
Following an extended period of permitting with the USACE, construction began in November 2021. The marina had chosen to implement the toe-wall option due to the construction cost. During the installation, it was observed that the construction method was causing vibration and further exacerbating the consolidation and migration of the soils behind the wall.
WGI worked with the marina and contractor and redesigned the seawall as a tied-back steel sheet pile system. Due to the loose soils, WGI and the contractor recommended that the steel sheets be placed by the press-in method further to mitigate the impact to upland soils and existing structures. This project is a testament to how a successful owner, engineer, and contractor relationship, can find a solution to an encountered problem by working together and being adaptable to changing circumstances.
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