Thanks to the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) of San Francisco Bay, the use of ferries as a practical solution to Bay Area traffic congestion is flourishing. To meet the growing demand for services and accommodate the agency's expansion, WETA inaugurated a new marine terminal and operations facility in Alameda, CA, enhancing both operational capacity and infrastructure.
In this design-build initiative, Power led the team responsible for all marine aspects, including the demolition of existing structures, dredging, seawall construction, pile driving, and the utilization of commercial divers for float assembly.
The project was the creation of a non-passenger hub for WETA's central bay ferry fleet. The marine facility comprises a vast floating dock structure with 12 berthing slips, equipped with full utility hook-ups. This hub serves as a comprehensive service center, facilitating vessel maintenance, cleaning, fueling, and overnight storage. Additionally, the facility doubles as an Emergency Operations Center in the event of a regional disaster. The over-water dock structure spans 14,000 square-feet, featuring concrete floats with 10-foot high steel walkway structures. Utilities on the float structure include sewer, bilge water, potable/utility water, compressed air, fire suppression, shore power, terminal lighting, communications, fuel oil, lube oil, and waste oil.
One notable challenge was the limited construction time — only 83 working days annually for in-water construction over a two-year project. The solution was a phased approach, completing demolition and dredging in the first 83-day window, followed by pile driving and dock installation in the second window. To enhance efficiency, precast concrete floats were assembled off-site, connected using a post-tensioned rod system, and transported to the terminal, ready for installation. The final phase involved driving 33 steel pipe piles, ranging from 24-in to 42-in diameter, securing the floats, and transforming the space into a functional marine maintenance terminal within the overall schedule.
The consolidation of the central bay fleet not only addresses the increasing need for ferry service but also ensures the proper care of assets, ultimately serving a larger number of Bay Area residents in the coming years.