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Coastal Model System and Technical Approach for Flood Resiliency Projects
Steven (Xiao) Li, Liang Ge, Zheyu Zhou
AECOM
The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate how the latest coastal model system and technical approach can be used to support the design optimization of coastal flood resiliency projects.
Abstract

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy hits New York and New Jersey (especially the New York metropolitan area) with severe flooding and significant damages. After Hurricane Sandy, in order to cope with the challenges from future sea level rise and major storms and to better protect infrastructures and communities, both New York City and New Jersey had launched a series of rebuilding and resiliency projects, which include the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency Project, Rebuild By Design – New Meadowlands Project, Rebuild By Design – Hudson Project, etc.

An integrated coastal storm and stormwater management (numerical or computer-based) modeling system for flood risk assessment was developed to identify the areas vulnerable to flooding and to conduct planning optimization and robust design of resiliency measures. This system can also be used to assess the study area's vulnerability to flooding under existing condition, to simulate the combination of coastal and inland flooding and to assess the performance of proposed flood control structures, drainage and sewer systems. Technical approaches have also been developed that are specially tailored for coastal resiliency projects. These technical approaches include: coastal design storm identification; digital elevation model generation with state-of-the-art technique; coupled model calibration and validation; selection and utilization of different wave models for site-specific conditions, wave run-up and overtopping; Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accreditation; simulation interpretation; and, visualization.

The coastal model system and analysis approach described here are also applicable to the coastal flood resiliency design for port and harbour projects.

Steven (Xiao) Li, Technical Leader, AECOM
Dr. Steven (Xiao) Li, Ph.D., PE, is the technical leader of coastal practice in Marine Group of AECOM. He has a solid theoretical foundation and a wide range of experiences in his coastal and marine engineering career that has enabled him to attain a high level of technical capabilities related to: metocean study; modeling and analysis of key coastal processes (tide, storm surge, wave, sediment transport); shoreline protection design; and, technical support on the planning and design of port/harbour (harbour resonance study, breakwater design, ship manoeuvring study, navigation channel design, dynamic mooring analysis, and advanced modeling of floating structures).

 

Nature-Based Defenses as Coastal Erosion and Flood Protection
Paul Knox, Scott Baker, Mitchel Provan, Andrew Cornett
National Research Council of Canada
The objective of this presentation is to present the results and findings from four separate physical models where nature based defences were utilized as flood and coastal erosion protection from Hurricane Sandy.
Abstract

Hurricane Sandy generated record storm surges and caused extensive inland flooding along the Atlantic Coast. Particularly hard hit was the coast of Staten Island, NY, where the event was responsible for several fatalities as well as severe damage and destruction of thousands of buildings. Design and construction of new coastal structures has emerged as the preferred option for strengthening the resilience of the eastern portion of Staten Island against future coastal erosion and flooding caused by extreme storm events. This presentation will describe some of the collaborative research that the Ocean, Coastal, and River Engineering Research Centre of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC-OCRE) has undertaken to assess the stability and performance of two different nature-based coastal protection schemes on Staten Island.

The first project consists of a system of breakwaters specially designed to attenuate damaging storm waves, reduce or reverse long-term coastal erosion, enhance ecosystems by creating structured marine habitat, and foster social resilience by encouraging the use and stewardship of the shoreline and near shore waters. The breakwaters themselves will be constructed with a combination of stone and bio-enhancing concrete units designed to withstand waves from Sandy-like events, as well as create habitat, promoting recruitment and growth of marine organisms.

The second project consists of several thousand feet of seawalls and floodwalls that are buried in non-cohesive sand unless exposed to high water level and wave events. It is assumed that this sand cover will be removed by wave action during design events such that the armour stone on the front slope, crest and rear slope will be exposed to direct wave attack. Several conceptual designs of sea walls, revetments, floodwalls and beach nourishment schemes are proposed for different locations along the north shore of Staten Island.

For these projects, four separate but closely related physical models studies were conducted by NRC-OCRE to verify the stability the proposed designs, and also optimize their ability to limit flooding and erosion during large storms and hurricanes. The presentation at this Workshop will summarize the findings from these model studies.

Paul Knox, Senior Researcher and Coastal Engineering Team Lead, National Research Council of Canada
Paul Knox, M.Sc.(Eng.), P.Eng., is a senior researcher and leader of the Coastal Engineering Team at the National Research Council of Canada's Ocean, Coastal, and River Engineering (NRC-OCRE) research centre. NRC is the Government of Canada's premier research and technology organization delivering scientific research and technical services focused on addressing the needs of clients and stakeholders across many sectors of the global economy. Paul is a specialist in the application of physical models to investigate and develop innovative solutions to a wide variety of engineering problems in rivers, lakes and oceans, and is part of a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers and technologists conducting applied research in the fields of coastal and riverine engineering, maritime and offshore structures, and port development.

 

Predicting Future Storm Surges and Waves in B.C. Coastal Waters to Support Climate Risk Assessment and Adaptation of Coastal Infrastructure
Enda Murphy and Andrew Cornett
National Research Council, Canada
The objective of this presentation is to share information and predictions of future storm surges and wave conditions to support/enable climate risk assessments and adaptation planning of coastal infrastructure in B.C.
Abstract

Storm surges and waves are key climate-driven parameters affecting the design and operation of ports and other transportation infrastructure on the coast. Reliable predictions of future storm surges and wave conditions are not yet available for the British Columbia (B.C.) coast, and this data gap hinders effective climate risk assessment, planning and adaptation. Transport Canada’s Transport Asset Risk Assessment (TARA) initiative, through its mandate to enhance the resilience of federally-owned transportation assets by giving decision-makers the information they need to make informed decisions, is supporting research at the National Research Council to address this gap.

A set of regional numerical models have been developed to simulate storm surges and wave conditions in B.C.’s marine waters. The models are forced by wind and atmospheric pressure data; and calibrated and validated using available wave buoy and tide gauge measurements. The validated models are being used to simulate, over multi-decadal timescales, historical and future storm surges and near-coast wave conditions for a range of climate change scenarios. A comparison of the historical and future simulation results reveals the potential impacts of climate change on extreme water levels and wave conditions. The resulting database will be disseminated to stakeholders via an interactive visualization tool, which will be scalable and transplantable to other regions and infrastructure/asset types. The new database and visualization tool will enable climate risk assessments to be undertaken for transportation assets, coastal infrastructure and communities located on or near the B.C. coast. Application of the tool for climate risk assessment and adaptation planning purposes will be demonstrated through case studies for several federally-owned transportation assets on the B.C. coast.

Andrew Cornett, Principal Research Engineer, National Research Council of Canada
Dr. Andrew Cornett is currently principal research engineer with the Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre of the National Research Council of Canada, and an Adjunct Professor with the Deptartment of Civil Engineering at the University of Ottawa. Andrew leads a multidisciplinary team or scientists, engineers and technicians conducting applied research and consultancy sparking innovation in coastal and ocean engineering, civil engineering hydraulics, and marine energy technologies.

 

Small Craft Harbour Retrofit for Enhanced Flushing at St. Bride's Harbour, NL
Vincent Leys, Lea Braschi, Danker Kolijn
CBCL
The objective of this presentation is to summarize a modeling investigation into flushing problems at a small craft harbour in Newfoundland, followed by practical modifications to the wharf layout.
Abstract

St. Bride’s Harbour is located on the southern part of the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland. The harbour is exposed to extremely high waves from the open North Atlantic, as well as historical kelp accumulation along adjacent shorelines. Kelp is typically ripped off the ocean bottom by large waves during southwest storm events, mostly during the winter. Storms would bring kelp into the existing northern basin, both through the entrance and over the wharves by overtopping waves. The north basin acted as a low-energy trap, where kelp would become sand-locked. The build-up of decaying kelp negatively impacts mariners and the local community.

A numerical modelling study was completed to analyzing coastal processes, kelp accumulation and flushing mechanisms. An innovative modeling approach was developed whereby kelp was modeled as slow-settling suspended sediment, referred to as ‘proxy kelp’. The suspended material was allowed to enter the harbour, following the tide and wave conditions. The resuspension and flushing of the proxy kelp was modeled as an erosion process. To model the ‘sand-locking’ process, the proxy kelp’s critical shear stress for erosion was modeled as significantly higher than its critical shear stress for deposition. The model was successfully calibrated to reproduce kelp accumulation patterns. Then, the model was used to assess the benefits of partial to full removal of unused portions of a wharf. A preferred configuration was developed, with the objectives of improving flushing while mitigating potential unwanted consequences on the wave agitation and sediment transport for the adjacent small craft harbour user basin. The first phase of construction was recently completed, with positive outcomes.

Vincent Leys, Coastal Engineer, CBCL Consulting Engineers
Vincent Leys is a Coastal Engineer with CBCL Consulting Engineers based in Halifax. Over the last two decades, his work has covered a wide range of coastal conditions and infrastructure challenges. He has extensive experience throughout Atlantic Canada's coastal communities and harbour infrastructure, which require functional solutions to meet the challenges of dynamic processes and rising sea levels.

 

Seismic Deformation Analysis for a Caisson Wharf on Liquefiable Soils
Nigel Denby, Kip Skabar, Khashayar Refani
Stantec
The objective of this presentation is to discuss a case study of a complicated soil-structure interaction analysis for an offshore caisson wharf proposed within one of the highest seismic zones in the nation.
Abstract

A new marine terminal on reclaimed land with a caisson wharf structure is proposed to be constructed on a thick deposit of silt/sand soils in the Lower Mainland area of British Columbia. The caissons would be installed on a rockfill mattress placed on dredged sea floor with engineered backfill. A 2-D dynamic analysis with FLAC using the PM4Sand model for liquefiable soils and UBCHYST model for non-liquefiable soils was performed to estimate shear-induced deformations at the caisson for selected design earthquakes. The PM4Sand model was calibrated for provided interpretation of laboratory test results and CRR profiles for various OCR conditions. As per the provisions of the 2015 National Building Code of Canada, the Geological Survey of Canada 5th generation seismic hazard model was used to generate input ground motions applied in the soil-structure interaction analysis of the caissons.

The results of the analysis indicated a limited lateral translation of the caisson and rockfill mattress, with much of the shearing occurring in the liquefied and/or softened silt/sand layers beneath the mattress. Some downward movement of the rockfill beneath the toe of the caisson was also indicated by the model, with a resulting rotation of the caisson. The translation and rotation of the caisson, with respect to the reclaimed landfill area, indicated the formation of a shear wedge and graben behind the caisson.

Several parameters were modified during trial analyses including the model geometry, constitutive model, grid zone spacing, rockfill parameters, boundary conditions, input motions, drainage conditions, and extent of ground improvement. A qualitative review of the sensitivity of the FLAC analysis to some of these parameters will also presented.

Nigel Denby, Business Leader, Geotechnical, Stantec
Nigel Denby is the Business Leader for Stantec’s geotechnical practice in Canada. He is responsible for leading and providing direction to the growth and professional quality of the geotechnical practice for 26 offices in Canada. His expertise includes design, investigation, construction supervision, and review for infrastructure projects ranging from building foundations, LNG facilities and port terminals.

Kip Skabar, Senior Associate, Infrastructure, Stantec
Kip Skabar’s passion is to design sustainable infrastructure projects that help move people and goods safely and efficiently, while also leaving a legacy in the community for future generations. A Senior Associate on Stantec’s Infrastructure Business Line, he currently leads multi-disciplinary teams on major projects throughout the region including container terminals, shipyard expansions, highway interchanges, road/rail realignments, and grade separations.

 

Implementation of the Channel Stabilization and Dredging Project at Shippagan Gully, NB
Garth Holder1, Chyann Kirby2, Dave Purdue1
1GEMTEC Consulting Engineers Ltd.
2Public Services and Procurement Canada
The objective of this presentation is to outline the challenges of implementing a dredging and stabilization project in a remote and sensitive setting, the solutions, and the considerations agreed upon for the project to proceed.
Abstract

For many years Shippagan Gully has served as an important navigation channel, providing boaters from communities in the Acadian Peninsula in northern New Brunswick with direct access to the open waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The fishing industry, a very important element of the local economy, relies on safe navigation through the inlet. Over the last few decades, significant volumes of sediment have accumulated within the inlet due to natural processes and deteriorated structures, rendering the Gully unsafe. The stabilization of the Gully was identified as priority by Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Small Craft Harbours (DFO-SCH) in 2009.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) was contracted to study and model the channel and provide recommendations for the stabilization of Shippagan Gully. NRC’s recommendations included several options to reduce the current, the level of infilling, and improve navigation and increase safety through the channel by improvements to/replacement of rusted out structures on the west shoreline (at the existing SCH facility); construction of new stabilization structures on the east bank; and, dredging of the channel to -4.0 m (equating to >300,000m3 of infilled gravel, cobbles, sand).

The western shoreline stabilization included reconstruction/replacement of existing rusted-out structures and has been completed. The remoteness of the east shoreline, environmental constraints and unsafe navigability of the Gully proved challenging for the completion of the dredging and the construction of training structures to the east. The site is characterized as a sandspit comprised of critical habitat for the Endangered Piping Plover, fish habitat/eelgrass beds, wetlands and dirt road/ATV trail access.

One of the main challenges of the project was to locate disposal site(s) for the dredge sediment. Disposal at sea was eliminated early in the process due to the presence of marine habitat and fisheries resources in Gulf of St. Lawrence. Finding land-based disposal site(s) proved difficult as the surrounding environment had remote access and sensitive ecological features. The shallow and narrow channel, swift currents, exposure, high degree of coarse/granular materials, fishing season, and short weather window further complicated the design and implementation of the dredging component.

It was eventually concluded that a phased approach to the east shoreline and dredging project would be most effective. The first phase would see the completion of a breakwater, shoreline stabilization, and ~66% of the dredging completed by land-based equipment from the east shoreline. A new 2.5 km road would be constructed (including a 400m causeway section) to allow site access for imported rock and exported dredged materials. The remaining ~33% of the dredging volume would be completed by floating equipment, protected by a breakwater and in a channel with sufficient draft to manoeuvre dredging equipment.

The environmental climate in this remote and sensitive area of construction was staggering. The project approvals were coordinated through the provincial environmental impact assessment process, and sought input from various levels of stakeholders, regulators, and the Indigenous community for species at risk, fish habitat, wetlands, and archaeology/traditional use.

Garth Holder, Senior Civil Engineering Technologist and Project Manager, GEMTEC Consulting Engineers Ltd.
Garth Holder is a Senior Civil Engineering Technologist and Project Manager with GEMTEC Consulting Engineers Ltd. Garth has 38 years of experience with the construction, maintenance, dredging and project management of federal small craft harbour projects throughout the maritimes provinces, and has a thorough knowledge of the structures and coastal processes in New Brunswick. Garth, prior to his retirement from Public Services and Procurement Canada in 2017, managed major construction and dredging projects. Presently, he is assigned as GEMTEC’s Project Manager for the implementation of the Shippagan Gully Channel Dredging and Rock Protection project.

Chyann Kirby, Senior Environmental Specialist, Environmental Services Branch, Public Services and Procurement Canada
Chyann Kirby is a Senior Environmental Specialist with the Environmental Services Branch of Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). Chyann worked 16 years for a large private consulting firm specialized in federal and provincial environmental assessment, permitting, and component study programs for marine-based infrastructure projects. Since joining PSPC in 2016, Chyann has led her team through the completion of environmental assessments and acquisition of regulatory permits for harbour developments, infrastructure upgrades, and dredging projects DFO-SCH facilities throughout New Brunswick.

David Purdue, Senior Engineer, GEMTEC Consulting Engineers Ltd.
David Purdue (P.Eng.) is a Senior Engineer with GEMTEC Consulting Engineers Ltd. and oversees the Fredericton operation along with a number of satellite offices and acts as a technical lead and project manager for geotechnical, marine, and heavy civil engineering projects. David has lead numerous major marine construction projects including the nationally recognized 65 million dollar Port of Belledune expansion. His role on this project is consultant team leader.

 

Building and Leveraging Canadian and US Marine Infrastructure for a Cement Supplier
Dennis Burns, CIMA+
The objective of this presentation is to share the experience of a Canadian engineering firm who supported its Canadian client expand its business in the US by building a network of marine infrastructure in areas such as the East River in the Bronx where such a project had not been done since the 1960's. The presentation will focus not only on the technical/engineering hurdles but also on the human and community relationships that ultimately made this project and subsequent projects a success.
Abstract

After the completion of a state-of-the-art cement factory in Port-Daniel Gascon, the new cement company was ready to distribute its gray gold. Its strategic location on the water allowed it to leverage bulk transportation by ship for a competitive commercial edge. Following a successful import and export dock project in Port-Daniel, the cement company solicited support to assist in developing their marine terminal network. These terminals were on both Canadian and US soil. The epicenter for cement consumption (concrete construction) in the northeast was quickly identified as New York. Finding waterfront properties in New York with the ability to obtain a permit for a cement terminal was not an easy feat.

This presentation shares the journey of this three-year project of a Canadian company accompanied by a Canadian engineering firm and how through trust and collaboration were able to achieve what was so often called “the impossible”. Delivery of a 650ft double sided mooring pier in the East River in the Bronx, inches away from the navigational channel, in a protected wetland, in a city with one of the highest infant asthma rate in the country, with a 100,000 ft2 cement warehouse and distribution system on an old landfill, requiring over 186 permits was not easy but ultimately, through sound engineering and genuine human and community collaboration, the team was able to deliver the project in record time. The approach used by the team to deliver the project by focusing and considering the needs of all the stakeholders was so unique that the project won prestigious recognition at many levels and awards such as the first Waterfront Alliance Waterfront Edge Design Guideline (WEDG) certification in New York. Among the numerous noteworthy items delivered was a community accessible greenway on the waterfront providing the public access to the waterfront while being safe in the industrial area. This proved that the community and the industrial sectors on the waterfront can coexist when all parties understand and take the time to elaborate a win-win design. This set the bar for other building on the water and this project is often referenced as a model. The success of this project and the collaboration continued as the distribution network continues to be developed on both sides of the border. The lessons learned from the New York experience have been adapted to benefit the projects in Providence Rhode Island, and many others.

The audience will benefit from this interesting presentation, not only on the numerous technical engineering challenges of the construction itself, but also understanding the realities and additional hurdles to consider for a Canadian company doing business on both sides of the border. Leveraging local partners and spending time with the community and city officials was a key factor in these projects and are too often overlooked or considered an expense rather than an investment for projects.

Dennis Burns, Partner and Director – US Market Strategic Development, CIMA+
Dennis Burns, P.Eng., M.Sc., PMP, has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master's degree in shotcrete from Laval University. He gained experience in construction management, infrastructure sustainability, business development and international port management. His visionary side leads him to develop and apply his skills in the United States and the Middle East, while immersing himself in projects in South America and Europe.

Dennis joined the ranks of CIMA+ in 2016 in the structural building group. His dedication and professionalism allow him to quickly find himself at the heart of the synergistic relationship of trust with his clients. As a Construction and Engineering Project Director, he is involved in marine receiving and distribution cement terminals on the US East Coast and in Canada. He now leads the port and marine division at CIMA+ and has recently been appointed to lead the development of the US division of CIMA+ as Director of US Market Strategic Development.

Through various roles of Business Development and Project Management over the years, Dennis Burns has developed expertise and successfully fulfilled commercial initiatives in various infrastructure projects. His journey as a project manager for one of the largest American concrete contractors has provided him with vital insight and hands-on field experience. His academic background, field experience, and entrepreneurship drive paved the way for him to develop business relationships in numerous markets worldwide. For over six years, he was in contact with most US DOTs and Port Authority leaders of North America, along with major Ports in Europe and the Middle-East in the quest to better understand their needs and tailor solutions they could readily implement. In addition, Dennis has had the pleasure and honour to build long-term business relationships and determine cost-effective solutions for many of these clients.

 

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