In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy tore through the northeast coast of the United States. Liberty Island, home to the Statue of Liberty, was in the direct path of the destructive hurricane. The 12-acre island is normally protected from extreme weather by the confines of the New York Harbor. However, flood waters from Hurricane Sandy covered 75 percent of the land, according to the U.S. National Park Service.
“The statue and its pedestal and base were unharmed, but all mechanical systems, docks, the promenade and ancillary structures around the rest of the island experienced heavy damage,” says Andrew Swindell, outside sales representative of waterfront products at Creative Pultrusions Inc. “The island’s utilities, backup generator and power systems were destroyed, and the brick pathways were uprooted around the island as well.” The FRP manufacturer worked on the first phase of a recovery project to restore Liberty Island.
During the first phase, the National Park Service had to replace more than 200 timber piles from the ruined service dock, used for equipment and emergency transport access to the island. The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads program provided funding to the National Park Service for repair of roads, bridges, docks and pedestrian walkways on Liberty Island. The FHWA specifically requested the use of composites to repair the dock.
“Composite piles filled with concrete are a viable alternative to traditional piles due to the increase in longevity and life,” says Raymond Sciahetano, vice president of the marine division at EIC Associates Inc., contractor on the project. Lee Composites supplied Creative Pultrusions’ SUPERPILE FRP pipe piles to EIC to serve as bearing piles for the renovated service dock.
Three years ago, Creative Pultrusions created SUPERPILE, a high-performance line of corrosion-resistant round FRP pipe pile for the fender pile marketplace. “There was a need for these piles in the marine industry and in the various Department of Transportation (DOT) units that would only receive 10 to 20 years out of their current piles due to corrosion, extreme weather, temperature and the salt content of water,” says Dustin Troutman, director of marketing and product development at Creative Pultrusions.
EIC had a very tight schedule to rebuild the service dock. Construction began in early May and had to be done by the July 4 reopening of the statue. In a press release, Ken Salazar, secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, said finishing the project by Independence Day was critical because the Statue of Liberty is “such an important icon for New York and America.”