As part of their recent redevelopment of the Staten Island Ferry Terminals, New York City Economic Development Corporation recently decided that Staten Island’s 60+-year-old Saint George Fishing Pier required below deck timber pile rehabilitation/encasement due to years of extreme erosion.

The refurbishment and stabilization of the 845-ft-long pier is part of a larger renaissance of St. George’s wharf, pier, and bulkhead properties as well as a waterfront management and rehabilitation program developed by NYCEDC in direct response to the return of marine borers to New York Harbor and their devastating effect on many New York City waterfront structures that are supported by fast deteriorating timber piles.

NYCEDC’s construction manager Turner Construction hired Pennmax Engineering of Pound Ridge, New York to determine the scope of the restoration, as well as the most efficient solution to the erosion and to provide underwater inspection and bid documents for the repairs.

After assessing the encasement repairs required to prevent future deterioration and allow the public to fish on the shoreline that feeds into Upper New York Bay, Pennmax specified 121 20-ft stay-in-place, fiber-reinforced polymer pile jackets which would be filled with lightweight concrete. The piles are 30-in diameter, ¼-in thick and weigh 400 lbs each.

“The most critical performance spec was durability to extend the life-cycle integrity of the concrete,” said Pennmax’s principal owner John Pensiero. “We chose a stay-in place form to provide additional durability, protection, and economic efficiencies since no stripping was required. We also specified a [quarter-inch] form thickness to withstand ice/debris impact forces and prevent erosion of the concrete from tidal action.”

Pennmax’s drawings for the project were approved by Turner Construction and NYCEDC. Turner Construction has since selected Trevcon Construction Company, Inc. of Liberty Corner, New Jersey to perform the underwater construction and Trevcon selected Molded Fiber Glass Construction Products of Independence, Kansas to meet the project specifications for the FPR pile forms.

Pier 1 will remain open to the public because construction of the pile restoration is taking place underwater. The project began in October 2008 and is scheduled for completion in summer 2009.