Steelpointe Harbor Welcomes You!
Steelpointe Harbor Welcomes You!
Bridgeport Harbor’s revitalization moves a step forward this month with the opening of Steelpointe Harbor, a 52 acre mixed-use waterfront development. Phase 1 of Steelpointe Harbor includes a 200 slip marina, offices, an oyster bar restaurant, a working boatyard and public HarborWalk. Phase two plans are underway and include construction of residential units and retail shops. Early tenants include the familiar national retail chains Bass Pro Shops, Starbucks, T-Mobile and Chipotle.
Redevelopment of the Bridgeport Harbor site has been discussed since the 1970s, with the City of Bridgeport seriously seeking development over the past 20 years. There were cynics about potential progress because of the industrial history, and controversy stirred about the proposed changes in use to the waterfront. About 20 years ago, the City and State infused about 40 million dollars to acquire property and clean up some of the environmental contamination from its industrial days.
Bridgeport Harbor was an ideal shipping resource in Bridgeport’s manufacturing heyday – the deep water harbor was a major trade port for such commodities as coal, shellfish, steel (hence Steelpointe), fuel oil, sewing machines, brass, ammunition, lace and more. As the Nation’s and City’s industries changed, so too has the use and possibilities for the harbor. Bridgeport’s not alone – urban waterfronts throughout the country are remaking their underutilized and in many cases abandoned industrial waterfronts into public, park like water access destinations, attracting both locals and tourists.
Bridgeport Landing Development, LLC, led by the Father & Son Team of Robert Christoph Sr. and Robert Christoph Jr., saw the possibilities in Bridgeport and expect total investment in Steelpointe Harbor to be over a billion dollars. Both are avid boaters who have developed major waterfront properties in Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, FL and Boston, MA. It’s estimated that Steelpointe will bring a thousand jobs to the area and visitors from New York to Boston.
RACE Coastal Engineering was contracted during the early stages of the project since Bridgeport Landing Development - careful to preserve the deep water port’s maritime activities and water dependent uses - needed to address the remnant waterfront infrastructure, water depths and landfill in the era of rising tides, resiliency & sustainability.
The site required a significant amount of fill to elevate the property, wetland stabilization and a new, higher bulkhead. These development phases were designed and constructed to meet FEMA, CT DEEP and other federal and state regulatory requirements, storm surge forces and sea rise expectations. Some areas of the shoreline have been designed with resilient, natural buffers, such as with natural vegetation and restored marshes, as well as hardened infrastructure.
RACE teamed up with GeoDesign Incorporated, a geotechnical and construction engineering firm, to perform geotechnical analyses and engineering design for the 1,500lf curved bulkhead protecting the property from flooding and eroding. The bulkhead design consists of a unique concrete wale system which was formed to match the serpentine shape of the shoreline. Protective coatings, such as hot dipped galvanized hardware and epoxy coated steel sheets were used to combat deterioration. The harbor’s dredged material was dewatered, mixed with other structural materials, and reused as backfill for the bulkhead. RACE, GeoDesign and Steelpointe Harbor were nationally recognized for the unique cast-in-place structural concrete system.
The marina was also built with resiliency and durability in mind. Unlike a standard concrete floating dock, the marina dock system consists of polyethylene pontoons with a top tray to allow for a concrete walking surface to be poured into it. This provides the aesthetics and stability of a concrete dock system while minimizing the amount of concrete exposed to salt water. In addition, fiber reinforcing was added to the concrete to minimize temperature and shrinkage cracking, thus providing a more durable concrete.
The floating docks are anchored with 18” diameter steel pipe piles sleeved with a PVC coating that was heat shrunk to the piles for protection from the elements and abrasion.
The docks are connected with galvanized thru rods to an aluminum wale system. The aluminum provides adequate strength to the system and minimizes deterioration typically seen with timber wale systems. The aluminum was extruded with grooves along the top edge to receive cleats. The extruded groove provides the ability to relocate cleats along the dock edge with ease.
We’re excited to see Steelpointe Harbor’s Marina facilities open for the 2019 season. In the DockMaster’s building is the Marina Office showers and bathrooms, Boca Oyster Bar Restaurant, Bridgeport Landing Development’s Steelpointe Harbor Office and other commercial offices. The marina is dredged to depths of 13.5’ at mean low water, has 200 + ADA compliant floating slips with both seasonal and transient slips up to 300’, and the docks are equipped with a wet charged marine fire suppression system.
Boater dockside conveniences include in-slip fueling (gas and diesel), pedestal power that provides 30, 50 and 100 amps, pumpout services, and water.
Across the channel is the working boatyard, Bridgeport Boatworks which has 10 acres of boat storage space, a 90’ tall main building and restoration sheds, as well as a 75 ton and a 200 ton travel lift.
The Christoph’s envision that the property will become an active recreational, cultural and residential community, further energized with holiday and seasonal events such as boat shows, musical performances, fishing tournaments, and more.
We’re eager for Bridgeport’s Steelpointe Harbor to become a vibrant, popular gathering place for people of all ages. We wish Steelpointe Harbor tremendous success. The Harbor now is home to the Bridgeport Port Jefferson Ferry, Pleasure Beach Park, Pleasure Beach Fishing Pier, Bridgeport Boatworks, Bridgeport Harbor Marina, Bass Pro Shops, Seaside Park, Webster Bank Arena, and Bloom Brothers Shellfish Harvestors and the now under construction Harbor Yard Ampitheater which is preparing for a Spring 2020 opening. Future phases of the City of Bridgeport’s Master Plan seeks to connect the harbor to downtown and neighborhood businesses, restaurants, transportation and entertainment.
For more information about Steelpointe Harbor, visit www.bldsteelpointe.com.