Liftech Wins Award for Float & Gangway Portion of SSF Ferry Terminal Project

Liftech received an Award of Merit for Excellence in Structural Engineering from the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC) in recognition of our engineering work on the South San Francisco Ferry Terminal float and gangway.

This substantial new link in Water Emergency Transportation Authority’s (WETA) San Francisco Bay Ferry system opened in South San Francisco, California (SSF), at Oyster Point in June 2012.  The SSF terminal connects South San Francisco, Alameda, and Oakland.  It will be used for commuter traffic and is expected to remain operational after a major earthquake, making it a critical part of the local emergency transportation and response system.

The terminal consists of an enclosed 180 foot pier, a 92 foot covered gangway, and a covered 5,000 square foot floating concrete structure (float).  The design-build team for the terminal’s gangway, float, and piles was headed by Manson Construction Company, and included Liftech Consultants as the engineer of record and FMG Architects as the architect of record.  The design-build team began work on the project in the summer of 2009.  Construction and installation was completed in April 2012 at a cost of $10 million.

The gangway is supported on the pier and the float by connections that accommodate large differential movement between the pier and the float with minimal damage.  Expected tidal changes can result in 15 feet of vertical displacement of the float.  To meet the design requirements for earthquakes, the gangway connections can accommodate 5 feet of transverse and longitudinal differential movement and 10 degrees of rotation about the longitudinal axis of the gangway.  The gangway support system on the pier incorporates a large pin and low-friction bearings, allowing the gangway to pivot vertically and horizontally.  The support system on the float is a double-articulated, wheel-on-rail system to allow the gangway to move back and forth and to rotate around the axis of the gangway in an earthquake.  The concrete floating structure can easily be moved by unbolting it from the piles and towing.

We thank SEAONC for selecting our project.  We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this exciting project and enjoyed collaborating on the Manson Construction Company design-build team.  Credit goes to everyone who contributed to the success of this project.