Chesapeake Biological Laboratory,
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies
Solomons, MD

UMCES Chesapeake Biological Laboratory Pier Repairs

WBCM has provided civil engineering, marine engineering, permitting and landscape architecture services for multiple tasks at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies (UMCES) Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL). Under separate contracts, WBCM designed a new pier to accommodate a new research vessel and conducted an above- and below-water condition assessment of an existing pier, leading to the design of repairs.

WBCM’s design for the new 12-foot wide by 88-foot long pier included a timber wave screen attached to the upriver face and a replacement bulkhead. The pier was designed two feet above existing grade to reduce flooding. It is supported by 18-inch square pre-stressed concrete piles with reinforced concrete pile caps and a slab that will support vehicular traffic. The pier also included a seven-pile timber dolphin for berthing the new research vessel. Utility design included electrical upgrades, water service, and lighting for the pier. WBCM also designed the new steel sheeting and helical anchor tiebacks that replaced 300 feet of deteriorated timber bulkhead and plantings as well as water quality improvements as mitigation of the environmental impacts caused by the new construction. WBCM submitted permitting documents and received approvals for MDE Tidal Wetlands, US Army Corps of Engineers, and Chesapeake Bay Critical Area permits. The remaining 200 feet of bulkhead was replaced in a second phase.

WBCM conducted an above- and below-water condition assessment of the existing 750-foot long timber pier at the CBL facility. Working with a diving subcontractor, WBCM assessed the condition of the structure and prepared a detailed report on needed repairs and replacements to the structural system of the pier. WBCM designed the repairs to the existing pier including deck replacement, driving new timber piles, replacement of deteriorated beams and stringers, renovations to the pump house and water storage facility, replacement of the pumps in the baywater pumping system, new emergency power installation, and floating dock. WBCM also provided permitting and construction phase services.

  • Owner:
    Center for Environmental Science, University of Maryland
  • Total Construction Cost:
    $3.2 million
  • WBCM Services:
    Marine Engineering