A Sea of Green at Bainbridge Island

A Sea of Green at Bainbridge Island 

Editor: Allison Braswell 


Passengers at the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal in Washington State overlook the green iron gracing the area below them from the 30' (ft) tall overhead pedestrian walkway that has stood above the terminal for 50 years. As the busiest terminal in the Washington State Ferries (WSF) system, 3.2 million people use the walkway each year to access the ferry on Bainbridge Island. Its aging wooden piles, however, have raised concerns about its resilience against major earthquakes. 

Washington state experiences tiny, undetected earthquakes almost every day. According to their Emergency Management Division, over 1,000 earthquakes take place each year, with 20 of those within the past 125 years being considerably damaging. Although the occurrence of intense earthquakes is few and far between, the state has the second-highest risk of large earthquakes in the U.S. because of its geologic setting. In this area, one can never overprepare themselves and their property for the impact of an unpredictable disaster. On the Seattle Fault that runs under Puget Sound, an earthquake magnitude of 7.5 or higher could trigger a tsunami with waves up to 42 feet high, which would flood the Seattle shoreline within minutes of the event. Even if the flooding did not reach the city, strong currents in the Puget Sound could create dangerous conditions for vessels including ferries that must slowly approach the ferry slip for docking at Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal. Given the uncertainty of these natural disasters, WSF needed to address the safety of the terminal's users. 

A $33-million rebuild of the walkway will replace the wooden structure with concrete piers and steel pile foundations connected by steel trusses, built to current seismic code. Not only will the new enclosed bridge be designed to be wider and more secure but removing the creosote-coated timber piles is expected to offer health and environmental benefits as creosote is a known carcinogen to humans and wildlife. The ADA-compliant path also aims to enhance the experience for passengers by including operable windows for ventilation and infrared heaters during colder months. Hired by Subsurface, the general contractor Contrack Watts broke ground in July 2022 and will wrap up the project in early 2024. 

For a job of this size, Subsurface is investing in a variety of ICE® deep foundations equipment including three vibratory hammers, two diesel impact hammers, and four clamping accessories. Business at the ferry terminal must go on despite the construction. Every 45 minutes or so, a ferry arrives or leaves the terminal, so passengers need a temporary alternative for accessing the ferry while the new bridge is being built. Working from a barge, the team used an ICE® 33 Vibratory Hammer with two ICE® Model 105H Caisson Clamps and a 6' (ft) 6" (in) beam to install pile for a temporary walkway. Once it is considered functional, the old wooden walkway will be demolished. 

Next is an ICE® 110C Vibratory Hammer with two ICE® 145H Caisson Clamps and a 10' (ft) beam, which was used for driving permanent and template piling 30" (in) in diameter and production pile 36" (in) in diameter. The 30" (in) pile was driven to bearing with an ICE® I-62 Diesel Impact Hammer equipped with a 48" (in) offshore leader, and an ICE® I-80 Diesel Impact Hammer secured the 36" (in) pile. Lastly, an ICE® 22D Vibratory Driver/Extractor is being utilized to pull timber pile from the old bridge with the help from an ICE® 55 Wood Pile Clamp. For diagnostic purposes, an ICE® 140C Sheeting Clamp will replace the ICE® 55 on the ICE® 22D to drive H-pile as test probe. This will aid in figuring out what structures the team might be running into against the terminal building before installing permanent pile. 

Operating all this equipment in such a tight workspace was similar to a game of Tetris for the contractor, but they said that the steadfast customer support from International Construction Equipment, Inc is a huge factor in their positive experience with the machinery. The ICE® service engineers are working closely with the contractor to make sure they have everything they need for project success. ICE® is grateful for its partnership with Subsurface to help create a safer and more comfortable journey for people visiting Bainbridge Island. 



Media Contact-   
Pollyanna Cunningham, MA, MBA   
Vice President Marketing, Brand and Media Relations  

Vice President IT and IT Comm 
ICE® - International Construction Equipment, Inc   
Office - 704-821-8200   
Email - marketing@iceusa.com 


Posted in Diesel Impact Pile Hammers, Vibratory Pile Hammers. Tagged as 110C Vibratory Driver/Extractor, 33 Vibratory Pile Driver/Extractor, I-62 Diesel Hammer, I-80V2, ICE 22 Vibratory Pile Driver, Infrastructure, Marine Foundation, Wood Pile Clamp.

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