Short Term Fuel Pier Repairs at Eareckson Air Station
In February 2020, a powerful North Pacific Ocean cyclone sent enormous waves toward the remote Island of Shemya, Alaska, which overtopped the Eareckson Air Station fuel pier, causing significant structural damage. Nearly the entire berthing face was torn away from the pier deck, exposing the structure’s inner core to the Bering Sea. Appledore Marine Engineering, LLC served as the Designer of Record in a design-build contract to develop short-term repairs to reinforce the most vulnerable areas of the pier and reduce risk of more failures until a long-term solution could be implemented. The remote location of the site along with a small construction window and dynamic work conditions significantly limited material, equipment, and repair options. Unique application of existing repair methodologies, materials, and equipment was paired with resourceful ingenuity to address complex constraints intrinsic to the site and working environment. Creative approaches and innovations kept the repairs simple and straightforward, balancing strength with chance of success.
This highly specialized project demonstrates the importance of teamwork between engineers and construction experts to ensure constructability within a highly compressed schedule. The project also demonstrates the importance of engineering to our national security—the pier is essential to the operations of this remote military installation. The urgent short-term repairs were completed within the limited timeframe, ahead of the winter storm season adding resilience to the 75+ year-old marine structure and providing opportunity for long term rehabilitation options which are more cost effective than a complete rebuild.