Cellular Cofferdam for Trident Drydock: Design

by Max D. Sorota, (F.ASCE), Vice. Pres.; Fay, Spofford & Thorndike, Inc., Boston, Mass,
Edward B. Kinner, (M.ASCE), Vice. Pres.; Haley & Aldrich, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 12, Pg. 1643-1655

Document Type: Journal Paper


A description is provided of the design of a steel sheet pile cellular cofferdam required for construction of a graving drydock. The cofferdam was constructed approximately 550 ft (168 m) offshore within the Hood Canal of Washington State and was required to retain 79 ft (24 m) of water after basin unwatering. Interlock tensions associated with the required cell diameter in this deep water location resulted in one of the first United States cofferdam applications of high strength steel sheet piling and extruded wye connections. Much of the cofferdam was designed to be permanent to provide in-service laydown areas adjacent to the completed drylock. Items discussed include the need for two pumped dewatering systems, the need for vibratory probe compaction of the cell and are fill, site soil conditions, dredging and steel sheet pile corrosion protection.

Subject Headings: Steel piles | Cofferdams | Steel construction | Sheet piles | Offshore construction | High-strength steel | Compacted soils | Dredged materials | United States | Washington

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