Castle Group Wins COPRI Award for Philadelphia Quay Pier Restoration on Delaware River


    Engineering Group Earns Prestigious Honor Repairing Pier on Penn’s Landing Philadelphia, PA, November 19, 2009– Recently, The Castle Group (Hainesport, NJ) won the COPRI 2009 Project Excellence Award for its work, repair and restoration of The Quay Pier, located on the Delaware River, at Penn’s Landing.


    The Quay Pier is approximately 1,300 linear feet, and suffered severe damage when a tanker collided into the pier in March 16, 2006. The pier had been previously used as a marina dock for US NAVY ships and other large vessels. After careful analysis, the pier was discovered to be structurally devastated and The Castle Group deemed the pier unsafe and unusable, to which The City of Philadelphia and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation concurred.

    The pier repair had very specific challenges regarding stabilization and maintaining the integrity of the superstructure, and dangerous conditions proved it unsafe for underwater or underdeck work. In addition, the pier was constructed in 1968, and no design calculations or as-built drawings were available. Castle had to analyze the capacity of the existing bearing piles, concrete cap beams, based only on drawings that were accessible. “Based upon our inspection, it was found that the east end of the pier was only partially supported by one pile. Therefore, no work could be performed, either under the pier (underwater) or topside until the pier was stabilized. This required innovative engineering in order to protect personnel and also to save the pier from total collapse,” says William J. Castle, President of The Castle Group.

    The Castle Group developed a repair procedure that stabilized the pier for repairs and eventually saved the concrete superstructure from being removed and replaced. Castle’s method would reduce the estimated repair cost from $1.5 – $2.0 million dollars, to a cost of $875,000. Through the Castle Group’s overall design and method of stabilizing the pier from collapsing, they were able to develop and execute temporary and permanent repairs. Three phases had been strategically coordinated in order to proceed from one phase to the next.


    The judging committee of the Project Excellence Committee found the Castle Group’s approach and execution of the project a stand-out, amongst myriad competitors. “The Judging Committee was faced with a difficult decision, due to the extremely high-quality of submissions…The technical expertise demonstrated in each of the [competing] projects was superb,” says James E. Spady, PE, Chair COPRI Awards Committee. The Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute and the Project Excellence Award Judging committee, deliberated, and selected the Castle Group as winner of the small project category. The Castle Group, known for its for marine engineering expertise, as well as its design and repair solutions, will be present at the Project Excellence awards ceremony at the PORTS2010 Conference in Jacksonville, Florida April 25-28 to receive recognition of this prestigious accomplishment. “For a company of only ten to be one of two companies in the nation to receive the 2009 COPRI Excellence Award is a major accomplishment for The Castle Group. We are honored to have the hard work and innovation behind the success of this project recognized by such a prestigious institute and it motivates us to continue our standard for excellence,” says Melissa Stein, Castle Group representative.

    About The Castle Group

    For over 25 years, W. J. Castle, P.E. & Associates, P.C. has been known for its marine engineering expertise. The Castle Group’s team includes Structural and Civil Engineers who offer complete structural designs for building, replacing, or repairing bridges, piers, docks, underwater cables and more. We also employ Engineer-Divers who are proficient at underwater diagnostics and reporting, with the ability to develop repair designs as needed. The Castle Group combines the knowledge and design skill of a leading edge marine engineering firm, W. J. Castle, P.E. & Associates, P.C., with the practical know-how of an underwater contractor, Hydro-Marine Construction Co., Inc. From underwater design and analysis to repair and construction, The Castle Group offers comprehensive and cost-effective solutions.


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