Wave Study Will Influence Pier 3 Design


Jay Barrett/KMXT

Kodiak’s cargo dock, Pier 3, is about 40 years old, and, according to Harbormaster Marty Owen, will need replacement soon. City officials lobbied state legislators last week to get the Kodiak project added to the state’s general obligation bond, which will go before voters in the fall. In the meantime, the city is undertaking a wave study, which PND Engineering of Anchorage is conducting.

— (Wave 1 32 sec "The first stage here … will work best for us.")

He says PND is considering a sheet-pile support for the pier rather than traditional pilings, which are posts pounded into the bedrock.

— (Wave 2 24 sec "PND feels that a closed cell … certain wave and sea conditions.")

Currently all of the city’s piers use traditional pilings. Sheet piling is made from driving large metal sheets into the bedrock, and back-filling them with rock. The technique basically extends the land out to the end of the pier. An example of sheet piling locally is in front of Fuller’s Boat Yard. The main benefit at this point for using sheet pile is that it is less expensive by about one-third over traditional piling.

One concern associated with using sheet piling is that waves hit their face full-force, rather than flowing under the pier that uses traditional pilings. Owen says a test in a wave pool to study those forces the next logical step:

— (Wave 3 36 sec "So what PND has proposed … this is what we think.")

Owen says Pier 3 is one of the few cargo docks in the world that faces out into the open sea, which in the past has caused docking cancellations by Horizon Lines ships because of too strong of wave action. There is a reef that runs west from Near Island toward the Buskin River mouth, but it doesn’t provide much protection from the sea:

— (Wave 4 27 sec "We’ve always wanted a breakwater … there that are pretty sporty.")

The Kodiak City Council will likely decide on funding the A&M wave pool study at an upcoming meeting. Owen says if he gets the go-ahead, the study could be done in May.


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