Halcrow played a vital role in the largest single port development project ever constructed in Jacksonville, Florida.
Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT), a governmental landlord port authority responsible for maritime growth in Jacksonville, appointed Halcrow to develop the new US$230 million Dames Point container terminal. This will make Jaxport one of the largest container facilities on the US east coast. Ships will sail between the facility and ports in Latin America and Asia through the Panama Canal. The new terminal will double container traffic passing through Jaxport, making it one of only 12 ports in the USA to handle over 1 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (a typical container is 40ft long, thus two TEU).annually.
Halcrow was the lead consultant on this major project from its original conception and has worked with JAXPORT to plan, permit and design the terminal. The terminal features two 1,200ft berths served by six post-Panamax 100ft gauge container cranes, with two additional cranes planned. The two berths employ a combination sheet piled wall, providing a 40ft water depth for berthing post-Panamax vessels. The design accommodates future deepening to 45ft depth.
This complex and extensive project, JAXPORT’s largest container terminal was completed on time and within budget, despite the many hurdles that needed to be negotiated during the 40 month schedule. The success of the project was due to persistent attention to detail, awareness of environmental concerns, open dialogue with local stakeholders and permitting authorities, along with teamwork and dedication from all professionals involved from conception to completion.
JAXPORT and Halcrow worked together to address all concerns and issues as they arose allowing flexibility of the schedule and designs in order to control budgets and meet the overall schedule.
The project was completed in January 2009, on time and within budget and on 7th January, the £153 million facility received its first vessel. This marked the culmination of an extremely successful project for Halcrow with both JAXPORT and TraPac, a leading container terminal operator commenting on the team’s “outstanding” performance.
Delivering value through innovative design
Innovative designs helped ease the schedule constraints while also identifying sustainable solutions that proved to be cost effective and beneficial to the community.
Halcrow devised a solution to dredge material onto Dames Point while the bulkhead was constructed concurrently. The solution included detailed design of the holding cells, fully conceptualised dredging methodology, plus innovative development of the process to provide a sustainable and beneficial use solution. Halcrow conceived a solution to dredge from the channel while the bulkhead was under construction. This allowed 900,000cys of material to be placed on the site without impacting on other construction activities. This proved to be schedule efficient and also cost effective, saving JAXPORT an estimated US$15m, while preserving the schedule. The approach also delivered excess quality fill material which was sold to further reduce project cost.
Another innovation was the mixing of pulverised fuel ash with the limerock pavement base, reducing cost and increasing pavement strength and durability.
Over 80% of the design was performed locally, enabling JAXPORT and Halcrow to adapt quickly to changing circumstances such as permitting requirements, booming economy, availability of resources and fluctuating scope requirements. The local presence also eased relationships in the local community, providing support for the project and responsiveness to permit issues.
The innovations demonstrated that sustainable solutions can provide significant value to a project.
The economic benefits of this project to the city were significant. It was estimated that up to 6000 new jobs would be created having a positive impact on the local economy. However as with any large developments there are potential negative impacts to the surrounding community, local resources and traffic. Mitigating the negatives and maximising positive aspects of the project became a key factor in the success of the development.