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New Floating Cruise Dock Designed by Moffatt & Nichol Open for Business


Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Pearl at the new gateway to Icy Strait Point, located outside Hoonah.

Photo by Paul Wallis, PE

Anchorage, Alaska, <May 11, 2016> – The new gateway to Icy Strait Point, located just outside the small village of Hoonah, Alaska, is now open for the 2016 summer cruise season.  At 7:00 AM (AKT), the Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Pearl made its first visit to the newly constructed 400-foot-long by 50-foot-wide floating dock. The new cruise ship berthing facility augments the tender boat system, formerly the only means of conveying passengers to shore at Hoonah, which involved using small boats to shuttle passengers from the cruise ship to the island. The new floating dock is expected to make the disembarking process safer, more efficient and more comfortable for passengers.   Additionally, the facility will provide passengers with certain ambulatory disabilities access to shore excursions who may not have been able, or preferred to go ashore by the tender system.

As part of a design-build team with Turnagain Marine Construction, Moffatt & Nichol provided engineering design and construction support services for the new dock, which involved dolphins with socketed and rock anchored pilings, floating pontoons, and a trestle and transfer span with associated supports. The team was met with an array of challenges that included a fast-track schedule, a tidal range of roughly 28 feet, a subsea bedrock with a steep slope and an extremely exposed location.

“Due to excellent coordination, communication and team-work, Moffatt & Nichol and Turnagain Marine Construction came up with a cost-effective design-build strategy that made this project possible,” said Moffatt & Nichol Project Manager and Structural Engineer-of-Record Mr. Paul Wallis, PE. “In addition, Moffatt & Nichol’s extensive engineering experience working in the marine environment benefited the project and its successful outcome.” Additionally, Turnagain Marine Construction’s efforts, working in such rugged conditions, were a testament to their pedigree as a true Alaskan maritime constructor.  “Everything seemed well-received and the owner seemed very happy with the facility and the quality of the finished product,” commented Turnagain’s Project Manager, Mr. Julian Koerner.

More than 75 ships are expected to visit the new dock through September. Icy Strait Point is the only private cruise destination in Alaska with a substantial amount of tourism dollars going back into the local economy.

Up close view of Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Pearl. Photo by Paul Wallis, PE.

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