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Exploratorium Museum at Pier 15


San Francisco, CA


There is a lot of excitement about the recently built 330,000 square foot Exploratorium Museum at Piers 15 and 17 in San Francisco. These historic piers were built in phases over the past 100 years and needed to be seismically retrofitted and renovated before the museum could consider this stunning location. One-third of the work was repairing the existing piling – a part of the museum most people will never see. The piers are supported on timber piling with concrete jackets sleeved around the outside.

One of the main components of work was the restoration of these jackets. Crews worked around the clock, while managing challenging tides and ferry traffic, to restore the 1,200 concrete piles, sunk deep into bay mud, that support the piers. Pier 15’s upgrade also required extensive under-deck concrete repair, four new seismic caps with thirty new 72 in. diameter piles, new concrete deck construction, fabrication and installation of two pedestrian bridges, heavy timber framing and decking, and the construction of a sea water intake and storage system.

Reconstruction of the north apron of Pier 17 was accomplished on an accelerated timeline and completed on schedule along with Pier 15 work. Reconstruction of this 800 ft. long marine apron involved removing the existing timber apron, shoring the building, then replacing it by rebuilding the existing piling and installing a precast concrete frame topped with a timber deck.

Click here to watch a short YouTube video about the highly specialized divers that worked to repair and restore a part of the museum that most people will never see.