Port Houston's Challenge for Increased Capacity Demands Extreme Innovation

February 10, 2022

Challenges are opportunities for innovative teamwork, and Port Houston’s recent challenge was met successfully as HVJ Associates® worked as part of the Jacobs Engineering team. HVJ’s innovative solution enabled Port Houston to accelerate the construction process for Wharf 7 at Bayport Terminal, saving them millions of dollars in their successful mission to quickly increase port capacity and ease supply chain issues.

In 2021 alone, Port Houston experienced double-digit growth in containers while the COVID-19 pandemic triggered global supply chain issues, which in turn facilitated urgent need for construction of a new wharf at Bayport Terminal. Historically, the construction cost of foundations is more than half of the total construction cost of similar wharf projects, so this stimulated a special interest in HVJ’s geotechnical team for developing an innovative foundation design that would save taxpayers’ money and provide quick relief.

O-cell test - Bayport Wharf 7In response, HVJ constructed a test drilled shaft at the project site and performed innovative Osterberg cell load test to develop site specific, cost-effective load test based foundation design. The measured skin friction was significantly higher than theoretical values, and taking advantage of this resulted in cost savings for the project owner as it enabled them to expedite the construction process. 

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