Port of Wilmington Autoberth, Wilmington, DE


Duffield was initially retained by the Diamond State Port Corporation (DSPC) to complete a feasibility study for its first and only dock and berth on the Delaware River. Initial studies involved: bathymetric surveys; subsurface exploration, including land and water-based borings and soil/environmental sampling to address both geotechnical and environmental issues; location and configuration of the proposed berth, including performing sediment transport analyses to determine initial and maintenance dredging requirements; evaluation of dredging material disposal options/sites; preliminary design of site roadways, access causeways, and dock structure; identification of submerged cultural resources and other environmental permitting issues, including wetland area identification and mitigation; regulatory agency liaison; and preparation of a preliminary construction cost estimate.

Collaborating with another engineering firm, a final design was developed to include an 875-foot long pile-supported dock. The location and orientation/configuration of the berth were developed to eliminate initial and long-term maintenance dredging which would have taxed the already dredge disposal capacity-challenged Wilmington Harbor.  Design services provided by Duffield included technical design of pile foundations to support the berth and trestle, which traversed a Corps of Engineers containment dike, a 10 ft soil surcharge to pre-consolidate a 17 acre paved parking lot over a former dredge disposal area, analysis and design for relocation of several earthen containment dikes over soft recently placed dredged materials and pavement design over the unconsolidated dredged materials, existing dikes and fast lands.

autoberth 11-02