In early May, Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo, Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed and Director of the State Department of Environmental Management Janet Coit officially opened a new 240-ft. long, 20-ft. wide concrete pier at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I.
Construction on the North Pier began in April 2014 to improve public access to Narragansett Bay. Designed by Louis Berger Architects and St. Jean Engineering, both of Providence, R.I., the pier features seven rows of floating docks and a public pump out station. Wilmington, Mass.-based Shea Concrete Products manufactured 15 precast pile caps for the pier, measuring 3-ft., 9-in. wide x 3-ft., 7-in. high x 24-ft. long. The 18-ton caps were made from a Class F fly ash-dosed, 5,000 psi mix, whose self-consolidating properties suited heavy concentration of mostly #9 rebar. Shea Concrete Products Manager Gregory Stratis says the galvanized rebar was part of the spec the company received and was fabricated and supplied by HarMac Rebar & Steel Corp., a division of A.H. Harris.
“The precast saved quite a bit of time,” notes Larry Ahearn of Middletown, R.I.-based Reagan Construction, who was the project contractor. “We set the precast on the bearing piles which were cut to the exact elevation. The cast-in-place forms were hung from the precast using a custom-built support beam.”
The catalyst for construction of the pier, the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover took place May 5-17 days after dedication. Approximately 125,000 visitors attended the 12-day celebration that kicked off the seventh leg of the race—the 3,222-mile trip from Newport to Lisbon.
The successful event supported Governor Raimondo’s view of the benefits of the pier. “Increasing public access to Narragansett Bay is a great way to attract visitors to one of our beautiful state parks,” she said at the official opening of the pier. “Completing this type of project demonstrates Rhode Island is ready to welcome residents and tourists alike to enjoy all our state has to offer.”
Coit added, “Expanding the park’s ability to welcome more boats of varying sizes is important as we work to attract even more visitors and water-related events. This strategic investment will help promote Fort Adams as an accessible and welcoming destination for years to come.”