Inaugural Cruise Ship Arrival – City & Borough of Juneau New Cruise Ship Dock
Phase 1 of $54 million cruise ship berth project completed
On Friday, May 6th, 2016 at 1 pm, the M/S VOLENDAM, an Holland-American cruise ship, will arrive at the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) owned Cruise Ship Terminal (CT) Dock, marking the first vessel to moor at the newly constructed berth. The new cruise ship berth project is part of a multi-phase effort by the Port of Juneau to improve the safety & efficiency of the cruise ship berths and the associated uplands. The VOLENDAM’s visit will be the first of 132 scheduled visits to the CT Dock this season.
Manson Construction Company (MCC) was awarded the contract in January 2014 and is the prime contractor for the $54M cruise ship berth project. The construction of the CT Dock completes the first phase; MCC will return in September to begin the final phase with the reconstruction of the Alaska Steamship Wharf (AS) slated for opening in May 2017. For the 2016 season, the AS Wharf will continue to be used as it has been in previous years.
MCC project manager, Monica Blanchard P.E., stated “Manson Construction is pleased to have delivered the first phase ahead of schedule and in a safe manner. Our local sub-contractors were paramount in the efficient completion of the project that included Harri Plumbing & Heating, Anchor Electric, and Chilkat Surveying.”
PND Engineers is the design engineer of record and also performed the construction management and inspection services on behalf of CBJ. To accommodate larger vessels with limited shoreline, PND devised a plan to use offshore floating concrete pontoons and a series of mooring and breasting dolphins. The maximum length of piling used was 240 feet and many of the pilings were 48” in diameter. Shoreside access to the 50 feet by 300 feet floating pontoon will be through an approach dock and ramp, which is capable of supporting ambulances and small freight vehicles.
PND Vice-President Dick Somerville indicated “the project challenges included designing in deep water greater than 100 feet with extreme horizontal loads. It also included working closely with CBJ and stakeholders to ensure the navigability of fishing vessels arriving to the Taku Dock and cruise ships arriving to the Franklin Street Dock were not impeded with the new dock.”
The project is funded through a combination of local Port Development Fees and the State’s Commercial Passenger Vessel Excise Tax, commonly referred as “head tax”. No local sales tax or local property tax has been contributed to the financing. CBJ Port Director Carl Uchytil stated “The need to reinvest in the CBJ owned cruise ship docks was necessitated by the growth of the cruise industry and need to accommodate larger vessels. With the eventual completion of the cruise ship project, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan will have similar capacity to moor four postPanamax vessels.” Uchytil also noted “the professionalism and teamwork from all involved has achieved efficiencies resulting remarkably in the project being 70% complete with less than 0.7% in change orders.”
The Port of Juneau anticipates a formal ribbon cutting ceremony upon completion of the AS Dock in May 2017. MCC and PND will participate in an American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Infrastructure Week event at noon on Friday, May 20th in CBJ Assembly Chambers. The public and media are invited to attend.