Our Aging Coastal Infrastructure

by Joan Pope, Coastal Engineering Research Cent, Vicksburg, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Engineering Practice


The River and Harbor Act of 26 May 1824, signed by President James Monroe, authorized the first involvement of the United States Federal government in the construction of harbor works and assigned that mission to the Army Engineers. Since then, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has been faced with constructing, maintaining and repairing a wide variety of coastal structures. Construction techniques, materials, and cross-sectional design has evolved over the 170 year history of coastal structure experience in the United States, mirroring regional patterns of expansion, local economic development, and military requirements. This has resulted in a heterogeneous infrastructure with a wide variety of structure designs, conditions, and intentions. Many of these older structures have a long repair history. All are subject to gradual deterioration, which may eventually contribute to catastrophic failure. In order to plan effective repair and replacement strategies, it is important to be aware of the ageing process, methods of detection, and preservation options.

Subject Headings: Federal government | Construction materials | Coastal management | Coastal processes | Rehabilitation | Age factors | High-rise buildings | State government | United States

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