The city of Jacksonville, Florida is working to connect its many riverside communities to several new docks along the St. Johns River. The new Post Street wharf, located on the west side of the river, will be used by day by four ships and a water taxi, allowing direct access to the Five Points neighborhood from the water.
Because Jacksonville is prone to strong storm surges and hurricane winds, the project required a mooring system that could withstand weather and wave action. The previous decade proved catastrophic, as several marinas on the Saint John River suffered irreparable damage from hurricanes Irma and Matthew.
Important design considerations included the mooring system’s ability to withstand hurricane winds and wave action as well as avoid contact with nearby underground utility lines. In addition to seasonal weather, daily conditions at the site include southern waves and strong currents. Design standards set by the city required the mooring system to withstand 120 mph winds and 10-foot storm surges for two hours.
SF Marina has developed a formidable dock design and manufactured the components at its factory in Norfolk, Virginia. Jacksonville-based Hal Jones Contractor, a division of Vecellio & Grogan, Inc. then installed the docks. SF Marina’s dock array consists of a two-piece SF1230 95′ L x 10′ W HD pontoon and three 32′ L x 8′ W SF1224 fingers. SF 1200 series concrete pontoons feature a wave-damping design coupled with their substantial mass that allows them to withstand heavy commercial use and wave action. Contractor Hal Jones installed 20-inch-diameter piles up to 40 feet deep in the river bottom to secure the pontoons. Designed to absorb torsional strains and heavy loads, SF Marina’s connector system brings all the components together. A 42-foot aluminum bridge and a 36-foot articulated walkway connect the docks to the shore.
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The docks are large enough to accommodate six vessels up to 50 feet in length. The city plans to allocate four berths for free daytime use by boaters while the remaining docks will be used for water taxi.