Preparing for Pier A

by Gan Mukhopadhyay, P.E., (M.ASCE), Principal Engineer and Vice President; Charge of Commercial, Industrial and Public Works Projects, Leighton and Associates, Inc., Irvine, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 8, Pg. 36-39

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Earthquakes, oil wells, contamination and unstable soil were among the challenges engineers faced as they prepared a site at California's port of Long Beach for the Pier A Container Terminal, a 170-acre shipping facility. Built on land that had formerly housed a Ford Model T plant, the location had been polluted by an oil-drilling operation and a neighboring waste disposal site. Rather than moving the waste, the soil was treated so that the stabilized materials would be above groundwater level. Project design was also influenced by the potential for earthquakes. Pile foundations were used on structures that would be essential to operation after an earthquake, while a thickened mat foundation was used for lighter structures. A wharf that could stand seismic force was also constructed using a structural fuse design. On completion, the Pier A cargo container was the second largest such facility in North America.

Subject Headings: Construction sites | Containers | Earthquake engineering | Freight transportation | Piers | Pollution | Soil stabilization |

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