A Case Study and Recommendation for Large-Diameter FRP Monopile Dolphin Systems

A large portion of the United States ferry system relies on timber pile dolphins for berthing operations. As ferry boats have increased in size and environmental regulations have tightened, the use of timber pile dolphins has become far less cost effective. As a result, ferry owners are seeking alternatives for dolphins and fenders. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has developed a dolphin replacement program for the Jamestown-Scotland ferry that utilizes composite materials to maximize lifecycle cost effectiveness and minimize service disruptions while maintaining the safe operation of the ferry system. The program uses the latest fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) pile technologies, materials, and production capabilities. As a result, over 1850 fracture-prone timber piles will be replaced with 35 large-diameter FRP monopile dolphins, with an expected lifecycle cost equal to one-third of the cost of the current system. Each new FRP monopile dolphin provides over 10 times the energy absorbing capacity of the existing 37 timber pile cluster and is more environmentally inert.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: pp 1-11
  • Monograph Title: Ports 2016: Port Planning and Development

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01604083
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784479919
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jun 7 2016 3:02PM