McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. has completed construction on Port Houston – Bayport Wharf 6. The new 1,000-foot-long wharf allows for the latest generation of container cranes to unload shipping containers from neo-Panamax vessels. Construction on Wharf 6 began in May 2021 and was completed in an accelerated timeline of 26 months.
Located at the Bayport Container Terminal in Seabrook, Texas, partial funding for the project was received from the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration. The project scope included substantial earthwork and traditional mechanical dredging activities – dredging 400,000 cubic yards of sediment from the shoreline. Other components of the project included underground utilities, the installation of drilled shaft foundations, cast-in-place concrete, crane rails, and a new ship fender and mooring system.
The new wharf incorporates two crane beams, one landside, and one waterside, allowing new ship-to-shore wharf cranes to move alongside ships for loading and offloading. Three wharf decks, each measuring more than 300 feet, tie to the waterside crane beam. The new wharf can accommodate large shipping vessels, some measuring up to 1,200 feet long. Construction of the new wharf included installing 623 drilled shafts – 269 landside and 354 waterside, measuring either 36 or 42 inches in diameter.
“We were pleased to continue our 30 year working relationship with Port Houston, the nation’s largest port for waterborne tonnage, and an essential economic engine for not only the state of Texas but the entire country,” said Fitz O’Donnell, Senior Vice President of operations for McCarthy’s marine & industrial business unit. “Our team’s commitment to excellent client service, communication, and a dedication to safety on the jobsite helped to make the Wharf 6 project a success.”
Throughout the project, McCarthy remained committed to a safe work environment; zero lost time safety incidents or recordables were logged during the project, which totaled over 475,000 man hours. This represents a huge achievement considering the length and complexity of the project, including coordinating multiple shifts with different crews working both day and night to achieve completion on a compressed schedule.
The team faced several challenges from the beginning of the project, with procurement starting in early 2021 at the height of the global supply chain and shipping crisis. With these issues, McCarthy utilized constant communication with all stakeholders to minimize logistical impacts to maintain the project schedule, while always emphasizing safety.
McCarthy has worked at various ports along the Gulf Coast for approximately 35 years, with experience in marine construction spanning a diverse array of project types including petrochemical liquid terminal facilities, bulk cargo handling terminals, deep water container terminals, and ship docks. McCarthy undertakes complex projects for public clients such as Port Freeport, Port Beaumont, and Port Houston, as well as private mid-stream clients, and is partner of choice for EPC firms servicing oil and gas and petrochemical clients. In the past 15 years, McCarthy has completed over half a billion dollars’ worth of work in Port Houston alone.