Pleasure Beach historic pier design wins 2015 Award of Merit

The restoration of the historic pier at Pleasure Beach Park was recognized by the Connecticut Society of Civil Engineers as an outstanding achievement in Civil Engineering. Roberge Associates Coastal Engineers, LLC (RACE) of Stratford received the 2015 Award of Merit for structural design.  This is the second consecutive year that RACE has been honored with the Achievement in Civil Engineering (ACE) Award. Last year RACE received the ACE Award for design of restoration of Island Beach, Greenwich.

For decades Pleasure Beach Park was the centerpiece in the east side community. It had many types of attractions over the years and it was a beach goer’s haven. A fire on June 16, 1996 destroyed the approach span of the bridge making the island inaccessible for almost two decades. RACE lead the engineering effort to bring the island back to life by redesigning the pier and adding water taxi launch structures.

The successful project goal was to reestablish a connection between the Bridgeport mainland and Pleasure Beach Island so that the public could once again enjoy the natural island beach environment. The team included the City of Bridgeport and the marine contractor, Terry Contracting and Materials, Inc. During the Construction Phase, the project was administered by the state Department of Transportation and the City of Bridgeport, Engineering Department. As Resident Engineers, RACE also oversaw the construction.

On the mainland, the water taxi dock was constructed at the Central Avenue Public Fishing Pier which was formerly the approach structure to the abandoned bridge. The water taxi launch was designed and built to bring passengers from the mainland out to the 750’ long restored historic pier that was damaged by Hurricane Irene.

Because the landing dock on the island is exposed to waves and vessel wake, RACE designed a wave attenuation structure under the pier to protect the dock on the island and make it safer for passengers to disembark. Advanced coastal modeling software was used by RACE to simulate the effects of wave attenuation on the dock.

The island was reopened to the public on June 28, 2014 and welcomed more than 25,000 visitors during its first season. RACE was honored for their work at the eighth annual Achievement in Civil Engineering (ACE) Awards ceremony on May 20.

How the pier at Pleasure Beach Park in Bridgeport looked prior to restoration.

How the pier at Pleasure Beach Park in Bridgeport looked prior to restoration.

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