• Steve Metzger, PE

Grand Opening for the Port of Rochester Marina

Mayor Lovely Warren joined state and local leaders on Monday, June 13 to celebrate completion of the $22M Port of Rochester Marina Development Project at a ribbon cutting ceremony conducted at the end of Portside Drive overlooking the Marina.

The deep-draft marina basin offers 54 seasonal boat slips and 30 transient slips with modern amenities including potable water, electricity, Wi-Fi, and pump-out facilities, and can accommodate boats up to 80 feet in length. The Marina is accessible to Lake Ontario via its entrance on the Genesee River approximately one-half mile upstream from the channel to Lake Ontario. Three gated gangways limit access to the floating docks to paying users of the Marina.

Landside improvements constructed under the Marina project include the linkage of the formerly segmented northern and southern sections of River Street, multi-use trails including the northward extension of the Genesee Riverway Trail through the project area to the Beach Avenue Promenade at Ontario Beach Park, and development of public spaces to be enjoyed by visitors to the Port arriving by land or water.

Planning for the excavation of approximately 200,000 cubic yards of material necessary to create the Marina was particularly challenging for the design team. The construction documents had to address the removal of the material to a depth of 18-feet below the River elevation (dewatering), and in close proximity to the Genesee River and existing buildings and utilities (structural) including the former terminal building (structural). To conduct the excavation activity, slightly more than 300 million gallons of groundwater was pumped from the excavation.

The site was previously home to a foundry operation in the early 1900’s. Over time, slag waste from the blast furnace was spread throughout the port area and then later covered with additional fill. Today, furnace slag is a regulated material and has special handling and disposal requirements at a premium cost. As the quantity of slag would have a significant impact on estimated and actual costs, extensive subsurface investigations were conducted in advance to understand the extents and thicknesses of the slag layer in order to perform reasonable predictions of cost. During construction, excavated materials were carefully characterized as ‘slag-containing’, ‘part 360’ or ‘clean’ as they came out of the ground. Much of the ‘slag-containing’ material was trucked to Lexington Street, where it was used to create a pad for a solar farm planned on a former city-owned landfill.

Another major challenge for the design team involved the relocation of underground utilities to make way for the Marina. With the necessary relocation of River Street to the west, and the elimination of the eastern leg of Hincher Street, the networks of utilities including water, gravity sewers, telephone, electric, street lighting, fiberoptics, and gas had to be replanned. New lines had to be run in already crowded corridors around the site. The neatness of the surface nicely conceals the pipes, conduits, precast structures, intermingling with the tiebacks of the sheetpiling seawall system beneath.

The final critical piece to the project involved the conversion of the former Link Building into a Boater Services facility. The Link Building was originally built to provide vertical transition from the Terminal Building to the passenger entry for the Fast Ferry, which no longer operates. The recast space will include a lounge, showers, and store for boaters as well as working space for operations personnel.

LaBella’s multi-discipline approach to the design was key to the success of the project. Representatives from the firm’s Civil, Environmental, Architecture, Buildings Engineering, and Transportation Divisions participated on the design team. Continual communications amongst the various team members and a constructability review by field personnel during the design phase resulted in a tightly coordinated set of contract documents.

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