Ports and Terminals

S&ME has successfully executed multiple port and terminal projects across the United States and internationally.  We are able to bring value to clients by providing the technical expertise required while also keeping the project schedule on track by partnering with local consultants, contractors, and officials. S&ME services have been provided for a wide variety of waterside and landside port projects including cargo terminals, cruise terminals, dockage, mitigation/restoration, retail, streetscapes, wayfinding and recreation.

Our proven processes and methodologies are structured to build consensus among various stake holders in order to facilitate the decision making process, as we develop innovative solutions tailored to the needs and culture of our clients. We employ the experience and talent of some of the top port and marine engineers in the country who follow an engineering design process that is based on a collaborative and communicative approach.  S&ME has performed geotechnical engineering, environmental, master planning, civil engineering, and landscape architecture services for a significant number of large, deep water ports both domestically and internationally over the last 30 years.

S&ME has extensive experience with the geotechnical engineering aspects of port terminal development in coastal areas, high seismic areas, dredge material placement areas, and sensitive intertidal marshes along with the associated mitigation responsibilities. We are proficient at characterizing such sites and evaluating the performance of the subsurface materials under the demands of the new developments. We are also well-versed with all of the associated issues that are inherent on such projects like identification of fill sources, evaluating the requirements of various fill types, predicting the behavior of fill and dredged material under various placement scenarios, construction sequencing requirements, etc. The majority of our experience has involved fine-grained, high plasticity dredge material and natural soils, but we also routinely work with silica sands, calcareous sands and other carbonate materials.

Construction of port facilities typically requires that mass quantities of soil be exposed, excavated or modified. Such earthwork uncovers conditions which can vary. Therefore, geotechnical design analyses incorporate a factor-of-safety that accounts for these conditions. One of the best ways to strike a balance between construction risk and design economy is to adequately address geotechnical issues during construction. Through appropriate field inspection, and in-house instrumentation and testing capabilities, S&ME refines design recommendations to help the constructed product meet performance requirements. S&ME’s experienced and qualified staff performs many timely and cost effective on-site services:

In the event that mitigation is necessary to offset the environmental impacts of development, S&ME has coastal expertise to design and implement habitat creation projects by beneficially using dredge material for marsh restoration, placing hard substrate for oyster reefs and living shorelines, and/or creating other natural habitat features.  We have an extensive understanding of the placement of soft dredged sediments and soft underlying foundation soils, and conduct specialized analyses to predict settlement and consolidation with respect to time.

S&ME has significant experience managing EAs and EISs for a variety of public agencies and private clients, with a focus on navigation channels, port terminals and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  We manage multidisciplinary teams for simple to highly controversial and complex efforts with multiple significant impacts and involving multiple lead agencies. We have a unique perspective in NEPA compliance and coordination with multiple agencies regarding complex issues.