After a devastating hurricane made landfall over Texas in 2017, the University of Texas, Marine Science Institute underwent a total renovation and modernization to rebuild what was destroyed and better serve its students and research efforts. The Institute’s leadership had a vision of a new marina that was modern, uniform, innovative, and would provide greater protection against increasingly severe natural disasters in the Gulf of Mexico and Bellingham Marine’s team provided an approach to the project with a site-specific plan.
For two weeks at the end of August 2017 Hurricane Harvey, a massive category 4 hurricane, made landfall in Texas three times in six days. As the storm made its way to shore from Gulf of Mexico, the University of Texas, Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) was caught directly in its devastating path. UTMSI, located in Port Aransas, Texas, was founded in 1941 with a mission to expand and advance knowledge of coastal and blue-water ocean areas through research, education, and outreach programs. Its main campus is situated on over seventy acres of beach-front property, purposefully positioned in the mouth of the Aransas Channel next to the Gulf of Mexico. UTMSI has a five-acre marina basin which provides access for their research vessels to both the Gulf of Mexico and bay systems. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey UTMSI suffered considerable damage to its costal infrastructure and damaged the tidal basin on which the institute relies heavily for its research.
Although much of the property was affected by the storm, the majority of the damage occurred to the existing seawall and timber fixed docks systems. After the damage was assessed UTMSI set out to both repair and replace sections of the marina’s infrastructure and rebuild the entirety of the harbor’s marina. The university’s management determined that a total renovation and modernization of the harbor was necessary to better serve its students and research efforts. UTMSI began the process to find a partner to take on this project and became acquainted with Bellingham Marine though a renovation project that was ongoing in the City of Port Aransas Marina just a half mile away. University representatives were impressed with the product, delivery, and construction provided by Bellingham at the nearby project and initially engaged BMI to provide consultation, a review of the marina’s layout and to assist with coordination between the landside and waterside infrastructure while collaborating with the design engineer. However, it was quickly determined that Bellingham was the most qualified firm to lead the project and was contracted to lead both the design and rebuild of all waterside facilities.
Pier 44 Marina has completed an extensive reconstruction resulting in a more accessible and aesthetically pleasing experience for their slip holders and the surrounding community.
Pier 44 Marina is just walking distance from Burton Chase Park and close by to LAX airport and Venice Beach in Marina Del Rey, CA. In addition to the renovation of the waterside marina, the property underwent a redevelopment of their landside attractions. Situated on the MDR Boardwalk, Pier 44 marina now offers a multitude of services and shops, including a retailer for boat parts, supplies and accessories. Locals can also enjoy waterfront shopping and dining as the new retail center features an outdoor plaza and patio seating. The property has an onsite yacht club and additional boater service offices.
Bellingham Marine spearheaded the waterside renovation which included a total replacement and redesign of the existing marina. The original layout consisted of 232 slips, while the redesigned marina now totals 141 slips, five end ties along with dinghy docks and transient slips. The updated marina features a land-side dry stack for boat storage along with a brand new jib crane. The marina’s upgrades include several amenities for boaters such a pump out station, boater restrooms with showers and laundry, 24-hour marina-controlled access gate and Wi-Fi.
Bellingham Marine has completed a redevelopment project at Neptune Marina; marking a project built for the future of local boaters and guests while maintaining the character of the historic waterfront for generations to come.
Bellingham Marine has just completed a redevelopment project at Neptune Marina, located on the coast of Southern California in Marina Del Rey. The harbor is known as America’s largest man-made small craft port and is home to over 4,600 boat slips in 22 separate anchorages. Neptune Marina is owned by Greystar Real Estate Partners and accompanies a brand new 526-unit waterfront apartment community situated in Basin B of the harbor. The marina provides boat slips for the connecting apartments as well as transient slips on behalf of Los Angeles County, providing public access to the adjacent hotel.
The Neptune Marina design and rebuild project began in 2015 and through an arduous permitting process was completed in a single phase in 2020. The project replaced an aging marina system composed of concrete piles and wooden docks with a state-of-the-art floating concrete dock system. The new Bellingham Marine infrastructure features prestressed concrete guide piles, timber walers, fiberglass thru-rods and rounded finger ends. The walers are capped with a protective composite deck that seamlessly transitions to planking at adjacent triangle frames for an integrated, modern look.
Marina del Rey Marina has just completed a landmark, six-year rebuild, consisting of seven phases including the newest technology in dock construction today.
This brand new marina is situated adjacent to the recently renovated historic Marina Del Rey Hotel and wraps around the peninsula ultimately flowing directly into the main channel. Located just four miles west of the Los Angeles International Airport sits Marina del Rey Harbor, America’s largest man-made harbor, home to nearly 5,000 boat slips in 22 separate anchorages. The harbor is known for attracting visitors who enjoy a variety of restaurants, retail, biking and walking paths as well as other shore-side attractions and water-based activities such as paddle boarding, kayaking, boating, marine birdwatching and more.
The Marina del Rey Marina rebuild and design project began in 2014 and was completed in a series of seven stages. The project’s phasing was lengthened over six years due to lengthy permitting processes and restrictions. The driving of in-water piles which can only be installed from September to April extended the project’s timeline during planning and construction. The final phase was completed in May of 2020.
Though the marina is privately owned and operated, authorization from Los Angeles County, California Coastal Commission, and the Army Corp of Engineer’s was necessary to rebuild the 46-year old marina. The original design included 349 slips, while the renovated marina now totals at 277 slips with thirteen end ties ranging from 35 feet to 65 lineal feet.
The Bellingham Marine docks, used in the marina renovation, feature the latest in floating dock technology and marina amenities utilizing the first-ever US application of Fiberglass Reinforced Polymeric (FRP) Waler and Thru-Rod Technology. The research and development of this product was advanced through common challenges faced when building in an aquatic environment taking into consideration factors such as decomposition and concerns over environmental impacts. FRP Walers provide a product with a virtually unlimited design life, further enhancing the longevity associated with the construction of concrete floating docks.
Learn the secrets to replace your docks on a tight budget without sacrificing quality or style.
For Santa Barbara Harbor rebuilding 500 of their slips without imposing large rate increases seemed impossible. Set to find a way, the Harbor enlisted the help of top marina builder, Bellingham Marine. Together the two set out to achieve the impossible.
With an open mind and a willingness to invest time in the process, you too can rebuild your tired marina without breaking your budget.
Follow these 3 marina renovation tips and discover how.
1. DON’T HOLD BACK ON THE PLANNING PHASE
The tighter the budget the more valuable the planning phase. Get a good understanding of the big picture. Then, sit down with your marina builder and begin to construct a plan that will take you from point A to point B.
Planning Phase Focus
The planning phase should include more than design and material choice. Identify and define these key items:
- Business goals
- Market demand
- Site conditions (including limitations)
- Sticking points (what are you not willing to compromise on)
- Budgetary constraints
- Funding sources
This important step will give you the lens you need to make critical decisions going forward. Everything should point back to your business goals and market demand.
Your site’s conditions – water depth, wave environment, boundaries, entrance channels and your sticking points will guide you toward what’s possible.
Armed with the above information and your ideas on dock type and amenities, your marina builder will be able to identify your options.
Your options package should include:
- A range of approaches including phased construction options
- Permitting requirements and possible workarounds
- Possible system trade-offs
- Optional features and amenities (upgrades and downgrades)
- Future add-ons
A marina builder worth their weight in gold will know what trade-offs can occur within your project. The goal? A solution that is a best fit for your business, your budget and your customers.