Construction work has begun on the United States Merchant Marine Academy's new Mallory Pier.
Construction crews from Russell Marine have had a barge on-site in Hague Basin since early January focused on the first phase of the project, which required preparing the old pier to help support the new construction. Last week the first pre-cast concrete piles arrived by barge, and after much anticipation, the first test pile of the new pier was driven into the Long Island Sound seabed.
Seven more test piles will be driven in the seabed this week and measurements of their holding capacity taken. This will allow for the proper sizing and manufacturing of the remaining concrete piles scheduled to be driven into the seabed during March and April. Then the rest of the wooden Mallory Pier will be dismantled and removed allowing for the pre-cast pier decking to be laid on the new piles.
"Our waterfront and its training activities are critical for our operations and the hands-on education of our midshipmen," said Rear Admiral James A. Helis, Ph.D., superintendent of the Academy. "Mallory Pier is a very important element of the capital improvement plan for creating a first class-infrastructure. We are excited that the construction phase of the project is finally underway."
The new pier will have a maximum draft of 12 ft. and will accommodate the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy's Training Vessels including the TV Kings Pointer and TV Liberator, U.S. Coast Guard vessels from Station Kings Point, and other visiting government, military and educational vessels. The entire project is coming in at about $1 million under the estimated cost at $12.5 million and is expected to be completed by the summer of 2014.
This is the latest in a series of infrastructure improvements instigated at the behest of Transportation Secretary LaHood to provide midshipmen the tools and resources they need for a top-notch education. These include renovations to Delano Hall, campus water main replacement, and installation of emergency preparedness generators.