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Howard T. Brown Park Floating Docks Replacement, Norwich, CT

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The docks at Howard T. Brown Park are on track for the 2024 boating season. ©RACE Coastal Engineering

The City of Norwich received a Small Harbor Improvement Projects Program (SHIPP) grant from the Connecticut Port Authority for replacement of the floating docks at Howard T. Brown Park, located at confluence of the Yantic and Quinebaug Rivers. The park and the existing docks serve as a popular destination for boating and fishing as well as watching the City’s annual 4th of July fireworks display. The docks, having been in place for more than 30 years, were nearing the end of their service life. The goal of the project was to replace the aging dock system while increasing ADA-accessibility of the facility.

RACE was contracted by the City for design of the replacement concrete floating docks and provision of ADA-compliant access gangways including a new concrete landing for the shoreside connection of the gangway. RACE’s efforts included site investigations and analysis of wind and wave forces for design of the new docks. RACE performed an underwater investigation of the existing steel anchor piles. The existing piles were anticipated by the City to be reused with the new docks but RACE determined that they were in poor condition and also needed to be replaced. The City requested additional SHIPP grant funding to increase the scope to replace the anchor piles. The total funding amount was approximately $1 million dollars.

RACE performed additional analyses for the design of new anchor system and prepared construction bid documents including material and performance specifications for the full replacement project including new docks, gangways, piles and safety lighting on the docks. RACE assisted the City in a competitive bid process and the construction contract was awarded to Terry Contracting & Materials.

RACE performed construction phase services such as review of shop drawings and material submittals, including review and approval of the detailed design package prepared by the floating dock manufacturer for fabrication of the concrete float pontoons. RACE performed observation of work in progress during pile drilling activities in the fall of 2023 while the floats were being fabricated through the winter of 23/24. The docks were delivered to the site in late February and installed by barge mounted crane. RACE performed concrete inspections for the gangway landing in March. The work will be substantially complete in early April in time for the upcoming spring/summer boating season.

Posted March 22, 2024

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