New ASCE Waterfront Inspection Standards

by John Daley, PE

Waterfront Faclities Inspection and AssessmentIn October 2015, Bruce Ostbo of Moffatt and Nichol and I gave a presentation at the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators (AAHPA) annual meeting on the new ASCE manual of practice No. 130 “Waterfront Facilities Inspection and Assessment“. John and Bruce were members of the ASCE committee that formed these standards. The committee was comprised of representatives from port authorities, the U.S. Navy, consulting engineers and academia. The manual was written for owners and engineers, by owners and engineers.

Waterfront inspections are often used for asset management, to provide critical information for maintenance and repair, and can be used to identify facilities in need of replacement.

The new manual follows ASCE manual 101 “Underwater Investigations Standard Practice Manual“, which was published in 2001. Manual 101 remains valid for underwater investigations. The new manual 130 covers the entire waterfront asset, including above and below water features. It includes comprehensive treatment of waterfront facilities such as: piers, jetties, wharves, quays, bulkheads, wave screens, marinas, boat ramps, floating structures, buoys, slope protection, etc.

There are eight general types of inspection outlined in the manual:

  1. Routine Inspection
  2. Structural Repair or Upgrade Inspection
  3. New Construction Inspection
  4. Baseline Inspection
  5. Special Inspection
  6. Repair Construction Inspection
  7. Post Event Inspection
  8. Due Diligence Inspection

Several new topics are also included in the new manual:

  • Service Life Modeling
  • Definition of element-level ratings, with sketches
  • Mooring and berthing system condition inspections and rating scheme
  • Utility system condition inspections and rating scheme
  • Coating system defect definitions
  • Load isolators and bearing defect definitions
  • Comprehensive appendix on specialized inspection techniques

The manual provides guidance on choosing the right type of inspection, frequency of inspections, and minimum qualifications for inspection personnel. One of the most important parts of the manual is a section on condition rating for both elements and overall systems. This rating system is described in great detail, along with photos and sketches of elements in various conditions. The intent is to provide a clear, unambiguous and repeatable system of rating for a broad range of waterfront elements and systems, including: concrete, steel, timber, masonry, composite materials, coating systems and general site features such as scour.

The manual includes comprehensive appendices with detailed materials on the types and causes of defects and deterioration, specialized inspection techniques and nomenclature.

J Daley (Website)John Daley, PE is a Senior Project Engineer in R&M’s Waterfront Engineering Group. John has more than 20 years of experience in waterfront engineering planning, design, construction and inspection. He has managed and/or participated in a wide variety of coastal, arctic and waterfront engineering projects, including breakwaters, harbors, float systems, various types of docks and wharves (sheetpile bulkheads, pile supported docks, fender systems, floating docks, etc.), bridges, flood control projects, erosion control projects, and bridge, dock and harbor inspections. John holds a M.S. in Civil Engineering (Coastal emphasis) and a B.S. in Civil Engineering, both from the University of Alaska Anchorage.