Since opening in 2004, Icy Strait Point, just outside Hoonah, Alaska, has become a popular destination for cruise ship passengers touring Alaska. For more than a decade, cruise ships anchored offshore, and small tender boats shuttled passengers to and from Icy Strait Point. However, tendering can be unsafe in heavy weather and may be a challenge for those with disabilities.
In 2014, Icy Strait Point’s owner and operator executed a design-build contract with Turn again Marine Construction, with Moffatt & Nichol as lead designer to build a nearshore berthing facility to allow passengers to safely and efficiently embark and disembark from visiting cruise ships. Under the design-build contract, Moffatt & Nichol provided engineering support services for a 400-foot-long by50-foot-wide floating dock designed by Transpac Marinas. Moffatt & Nichol’s design services included a nearly 700-foot-long trestle, with two viewing platforms, allowing passengers to safely and travel from ship to shore in comfort.
Moffatt & Nichol, and the design-build team, developed an aggressive design and construction schedule so that the facility would be operational for the busy cruise season. Additional design challenges included a tidal range of about 28 feet, subsea bedrock with a steep slope, and an extremely exposed location. These conditions necessitated a detailed metocean analysis that required the innovative design of a nearly160-foot articulated transfer span. The new dock successfully opened on time for the more than 75 cruise ships in the summer of 2014 and Hoonah has since grown, with the addition of a second berth, into an internationally recognized world class destination in the Alaska cruise itinerary.