Port of Geraldton – Wharf 4 Strengthening Project

Project Date:
Client: Mid West Port Authority
Project Type: Strengthening Design, Detailed Design, Maritime Structures
Location: Geraldton, Mid West WA
Categories: Civil Infrastructure, Energy & Resources, Specialist Analysis
Project Description:

Port operations have changed since the construction of Wharf 4 in 1964, including significant increases in vessel sizes, and the types of products being loaded and unloaded at the port. The structure had reached the end of its intended design life.

Specialist structural analysts, Design & Analysis, were engaged to conduct investigations into the current condition of the wharf to enable a detailed design for remedial and strengthening works.

First, an analytical model of the wharf structure was developed, followed by on-site measurements using state-of-the-art wireless dial indicators to measure the deflection of the wharf deck and supporting steelwork – subjected to imposed loads from the shiploader. The shiploader was also weighed to determine the exact tonnage per bogie.

Results from the weighing enabled calculation of imposed loads based on Australian Standards’ minimum reliability indices. The calculations were then used to calibrate the response of the Finite Element Model of the wharf, with that observed on site. The model was also used to conduct a load rating for the deck; to assess which members were over-stressed; and to assess the remaining design fatigue life of components within the wharf structure.

Following this assessment, a number of design options were developed for the client’s consideration.

Ultimately, the most cost-effective solution, incorporating a unique strengthening method utilising a self-compacting concrete soffit thickening, was implemented. This involved application of a perfobond connection with the steel girder webs, which made the deck composite with the steel substructure.

We also replaced the existing topping slab with a structural topping slab to improve the rigidity of the deck and provide additional load capacity for the wharf.

Project Scope:

Mid West Ports Authority (MWPA) appointed Design & Analysis to

  • Investigate the condition of the structure
  • Develop strengthening alternatives
  • Conduct a cost benefit analysis for options
  • Develop the preferred option to allow for tendering
  • Support MWPA during the tender phase
  • Develop the IFC documents including detailed scope of works documents
  • Construction support.

The rigidity and strength of the deck was significantly increased following the replacement of the structural topping slab.

The design also increased the capacity and number of bollards on the wharf creating further capacity for mooring at both Wharf 3 as well as Wharf 4.