As Alternate Materials Become More Mainstream for Shoreline Protection, Expect to See New Looks in Seawalls

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A new Florida coastal community is looking to invest in the future. Little Harbor, a new seaside village located on the South Shore of Tampa Bay, is renovating the former Bahia Beach marina, which will be the center-piece of this world-class residential resort. With more than three miles of water-frontage, including a rare combination of bay, river and harbor, the ShoreGuard vinyl seawall is the only seawall product used in the entire development.

We were getting up to 150' feet of material installed per day

Boaters returning to land have probably noticed some new looks in seawalls along the coast. The demand for new alternatives has been on the rise -- wooden seawalls in the marine environment are destroyed by marine borers in a few short years. Treated wood in the water is creating many environmental concerns about toxins leaching into the marine environment. Steel rusts, concrete cracks and the maintenance costs begin to rise quickly. This has lead waterfront developers to look at new materials such as vinyl, fiberglass and aluminum as better solutions for their investment.

One example is a new Florida coastal community looking to invest in the future. Little Harbor, a new seaside village located on the South Shore of Tampa Bay, is renovating the former Bahia Beach marina, which will be the center-piece of this world-class residential resort. With more than three miles of water-frontage, including a rare combination of bay, river and harbor, the ShoreGuard vinyl seawall is the only seawall product used in the entire development.

"Little Harbor made the best investment in our seawall to stand up against the harsh marine environment in Tampa Bay," said Cynthia Pride, seawall project manager at Little Harbor. "We were able to create a distinctive community for our waterfront condominiums, town home residences, single family homes and wide range of amenities. A seawall solution was needed that would look beautiful, be modern and last for many years while also protecting the environment."

Rube Clarson of Ruben Clarson Consulting was chosen to design the seawall. "The existing site had bulkheads of broken concrete and dilapidated wood," said Rube from his offices in St. Petersburg. "There was a variation of water depths to deal with, so different (seawall) profiles were required."    Because of the challenges in waterfront structure design, such as Rube runs into -- CMI Waterfront Solutions offers 27 different types of seawall materials of different strengths depending on the conditions.

Modern bulkhead construction is no easy feat with many waterfront properties already having an existing seawall. In Little Harbor's case, there were crumbling structures built of two different materials and the possibility of other buried obstructions. Hecker Marine Construction, a 25-year veteran in the business, completed the majority of the project. "We were getting up to 150' feet of material installed per day," said President Brian Hecker. "The sheets are in and now we have begun forming for the concrete cap." Brian has worked from water and land during the project driving the seawall pieces into the ground with a vibratory hammer, limiting the typical intrusion of major construction.

Expect to see many more structures like the seawall at Little Harbor. It is the future of seawall construction and a look that will continue to spread.

Little Harbor is a residential and Caribbean-style island resort on Tampa Bay. The project is being developed by EarthMark Companies, a real estate development company known for creating resort-style, amenity-rich and environmentally sustainable communities. For more information about Little Harbor, call Nicole Hawker at (888) 645-9010, visit LittleHarbor.com or drop by the sales center at 302 North U.S. Highway 41 in Ruskin.

CMI Waterfront SolutionsTM
The New Vision of Waterside LifeTM
CMI Waterfront Solutions is the leading choice for marine contractors and engineers across the US and around the world. We offer a complete line of waterfront solutions including seawalls, docks, piers and gangways. http://www.cmiwaterfront.com

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Stacy Acton
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