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RACE Coastal Engineering Honored With 2019 Engineering Excellence Award

January 31, 2019: At the American Council of Engineering Companies / CT Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala on January 28th, RACE Coastal Engineering was awarded with a 2019 Engineering Excellence Award for its design of Fort Nathan Hale Pier in New Haven Harbor (New Haven, CT).

Hale Pier was closed to the public after Superstorm Sandy destroyed it in 2012. The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection deemed the structure a hazard and funding was secured to restore it. The City of New Haven contracted RACE Coastal Engineering to design a new, storm resilient fishing pier accessible to all visitors.

RACE performed the preliminary design, prepared permit applications, prepared final construction drawings and provided construction phase consulting. Through the construction phase, RACE collaborated with Terry Contracting & Materials and completed the project on-time and on-budget.

RACE’s coastal engineers performed specialized wave and wind modeling to determine site specific parameters of the 100-year storm, and in turn, developed hydrodynamic load conditions on the pier’s structural elements. In addition to designing the pier for sustainability and storm resilience, RACE designed the pier with social responsibility in mind. The Hale Pier had been a City landmark and neighborhood treasure for decades.

The octagonal gathering area at the southern end of the pier is unlike any other pier in Connecticut. This unique feature presented design and construction challenges, but was embraced by the Design Team, City of New Haven and environmental regulators as a means to allow greater access to the deeper water for fishing, more ADA-accessible guardrail locations, and a space for public programming such as environmental education classes as well as general enjoyment of New Haven Harbor and Long Island Sound.

Designed for community access and public open space, the 350’ long, 7,330 sq. ft. timber pier includes a 100’ long T-head and a 42’ wide octagon. In addition, the pier has guardrails meeting ADA requirements which allows for all people to use the public pier as a means of fun and fishing. The pier is also equipped with fish cutting stations, benches, a multitude of fish rod holders, and lights for public safety. State officials celebrated the opening of the new Fort Nathan Hale Pier in New Haven, CT on April 13, 2018.

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