Port of Gulfport Restoration Project
- Client Mississippi State Port Authority
- Location Gulfport, Mississippi
The Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA) at Gulfport is rebuilding and restoring the damage to its facilities from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Prior to the disaster, the Port of Gulfport was the third busiest container port situated on the United States Gulf of Mexico. The port is a critical economic hub for the region. Since July 2008 CH2M HILL has provided program management support to MSPA, including planning, design, permitting, and construction management oversight.
The restoration program will restore and revitalize the port and position it for future expansion. When complete, the Port of Gulfport will be a hurricane-resistant modern marine terminal with significant expansion capabilities. The project is funded a by Housing and Urban Development Community Block Grant (HUD CDBG).
CH2M HILL assists with both near- and long-term goals for the restoration program, including:
- Raising the West Pier of the port to an elevation of +25 feet so it lies above FEMA storm surge levels, reducing the need for evacuation and thereby saving time and money for existing and new tenants
- Restoration and modernization of existing tenant container terminals to position the port to participate in the future projected increase in Gulf Coast container traffic
- Improve access to the port and allow for future expansion for new road and rail facilities
- Completing an Environmental Impact Statement to obtain a permit to expand the existing footprint for long-term growth
The program team has developed plans for restoration of the current port footprint and has prepared preliminary plans for the future expansion. For the existing footprint, under the restoration plan, the port backlands will be raised 15' and new wharf upgrades will be completed to add rails for new ship-to-shore gantry cranes. For structural needs a "bench" will be constructed on the southern and western shorelines of the Port to provide stability to the raised backlands. A benefit of the bench is for the program to create public access along the west side of the port including walking and biking paths and public fishing piers. The bench will also be used to collect storm water in basins. The basins will be landscaped as part of the public access areas to create an attractive boundary to the West Pier.
For each terminal, new container yard storage areas, as well as support facilities, administration buildings, gate facilities, and maintenance facilities will be constructed. The locations of facilities and yard utilization were planned to maximize throughput capacity and operational velocity. Construction will start summer 2012 and should be completed by 2017.
The permit process for future expansion should be completed by 2015.
The Port project is challenging, as the terminal will be constructed on new fill underlain by soft, unconsolidated clay soils and raised 15'. CH2M HILL's program management team of experts is managing the structural, geotechnical, and costal engineering consultants, drawing on their own background in port planning, design and construction to ensure the best structure types are selected. As part of the goals of the CDBG funds," to put people to work," the Program team is managing over 12 different consultants, each with their own team of sub-contractors making the project dynamic and challenging.
CH2M HILL started working with MSPA in 2008 with a review of existing master development plans for the Port. Based on this work, CH2M HILL created a 10-year work plan and identified alternatives to maximize long-term economic impact for the local community and the State, and then developed a programmatic approach to implement the ongoing Restoration Program.