As Alchemy-Spetec's Northeast Regional Geotech Lead, I am the point-person for contractors and property managers in this area of the country. I also represent the NJ coastal, oceans, ports, and river engineers through the NJ COPRI, the Institute arm of The American Society of Civil Engineers. COPRI is responsible for evaluating data on ports, providing them with report cards on inefficiencies, and making recommendations for improvements. COPRI members also meet with leadership in Washington DC to give expert testimony on how funding should be appropriated for sustainability of US coastal areas, ports, and rivers.
I have developed feasible procedures for seawall remediation using polymer grouts, and have consulted with engineers and contractors to develop the standards for polymer seawall repairs. These standards are used throughout the US, and I regularly give presentations on them at engineering lectures and conferences.
In this blog post, I provide a simple introductory overview of seawall issues in the Northeastern United States.
Mech. Eng., A.M. ASCE | Chair ASCE NJ COPRI (Coastal, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute)
Seawall Repair in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia
Many Seawalls along the northeastern United States are in a state of disrepair, for a wide variety of reasons. Rising water levels, corrosion, seasonal freeze/thaw cycles, storms and extreme weather events all contribute to seawall deterioration over time. Properly built seawalls include a drainage system to handle the daily influx and outflow of water from rain, tides and waves. Over time, these drainage systems can sometimes become clogged. Seawalls without an effective built-in drainage system face a unique problem in that the water has no way to escape except to force its way down and out from underneath the base of the wall. When this occurs, sinkholes will appear alongside the wall.
Seawall Repair Options
Property owners facing seawall deterioration have a few options:
- Do Nothing
The problem with this option is obvious: longer you wait, the more expensive the eventual repair.
- Replace the Seawall
Rebuilding a seawall (or even a section of a seawall) can be messy, time consuming and expensive.
- Repair with Cement Grout
Cement grout seawall repair requires heavy equipment, large drill holes and the use of weighty cement grout which may sink over time.
- Repair with Polymer Foam
The polyurethane seawall repair process is accomplished with small mobile equipment, durable material that doesn’t sink, and small drill holes. This procedure makes less of a mess than replacing the seawall or repairing with cement grout.
Alchemy-Spetec structural foams are stronger than crystalline bedrock. Combined with proper drainage, polyurethane seawall repair can greatly extend the life of the structure.
Alchemy-Spetec polyurethane seawall repair resin products have received the official NSF seal of approval for contact with drinking water (this also protects water-dwelling wildlife as well). This designation ensures compliance with the Safe Water Drinking Act (SDWA) and guarantees peace of mind for in-the-field stakeholders on construction projects of almost any scope and size.