Engineering Disciplines


Oceanographic Design Criteria for Ocean & Coastal Structures

Oceanside Pier Rehabilitation, Oceanside, CA.

NCI performed geotechnical and oceanographic investigations, as well as an engineering feasibility study; developed all design criteria; and prepared the plans, specifications, and construction bid documents for demolition of 1,600 feet of storm-damaged timber pier and construction of a new pier and pier buildings. NCI's recommendations were for a sophisticated timber and pipe-braced pier system that would be aesthetically pleasing, would withstand the 100-year storm, and could be constructed within the City's budget. Key structural elements of the pier's design included timber piles, pile treatment and wrapping, pipe bracing system, and diagonal timber decking system, as well as other features. Buildings constructed on the pier were a two-story restaurant, retail shop, bait shop, restrooms and lifeguard structures. NCI also evaluated all submitted bids and provided the construction administration and full-time residence inspection during demolition of the damaged pier and construction of the new pier and buildings.

Ventura Pier Repair/Reconstruction, Ventura, CA.

NCI reviewed the storm damage history and exposure of the Ventura Pier in an effort to find ways to reduce recurrent damages. Deficiencies in the existing timber pile supported structure were improved at relatively nominal expense by using a system of steel pipe bracing and steel beam reinforcement of the deck frame at key locations. The pier strengthening design developed by NCI was severely tested during the El Niņo winter storm season of 1998. Damages were confined to a modest level, and catastrophic losses were completely averted. Replacement of the 420-feet outer end of pier that was lost during the December 1995 storm is proceeding toward construction with a new octagonally shaped terminus and includes replacement of the outer section of existing timber pier. This replacement pier work utilized steel foundation piles and steel framing with timber stringers and deck system. NCI assisted the City to review all pier replacement options; participated in a citizen involvement planning committee; performed final engineering design; prepared construction drawings, specifications and contract documents; and provided construction administration and resident inspection services. The new work, which will increase the deck height of the outer end of the pier, will decrease the pier's exposure to wave damage.


Ocean Pier Rehabilitation for the Balboa and Newport Ocean Piers, Newport Beach, CA.

NCI surveyed the existing conditions for both the Balboa and Newport ocean piers, prepared recommended alternative rehabilitation design concepts, and prepared the final design, drawings, specifications, contract documents and cost estimates for the selected rehabilitation design concept at each pier, and engineering support during construction bidding. NCI's design work included utility replacement for lighting, electrical systems, communication systems, potable water, fire protection systems, gas lines and sewer lines.

The city's two municipal piers were rehabilitated to replace foundation piles, bracing, decking, miscellaneous hardware, utilities, and other amenities. Over 40,000 square feet of deteriorated concrete pavement and 60-year old timber sub-decking was replaced with a new structural concrete section. Utilities were replaced and rerouted into top-side utility trenches, and a new guardrail was detailed for the Balboa Pier. The contract documents were prepared to minimize interruption to affected lessees.

Sausalito Ferry Landing Pier - Design, Sausalito, CA.

This project involved the design of a concrete ferry landing pier. Work included the plan formulation of alternative pier layouts, design of the preferred layout, inclusion of landscape improvements prepared by others into the design plans, assistance in permit coordinations, and preparation of plans, specifications, and contract documents. The pier is a cast-in-place concrete structure founded on prestressed concrete piles. The seaward end of the structure is connected to a previously constructed pier designed by the San Francisco Bridge District. Sewer, water and electrical utilities were included in the pier design. Other improvements included concrete tidal benches, patching of the existing seawall, and concrete benches along the promenade overlooking the landing.


San Rafael Ave Seawall Study, Belvedere, CA.  

NCI performed the necessary investigation and analysis in order to provide design recommendations with possible alternatives to prevent wind-driven waves from overtopping the existing approximately 2,000 lineal feet of stone revetment along San Rafael Avenue that fronts Richardson Bay within San Francisco Bay.

A topographic survey was conducted for the existing San Rafael Avenue seawall and the existing installation of the revetment was reviewed.  A coastal analysis was performed for the existing baseline condition, which included (1) determining return tidal stages, (2) estimating seal level rise, (3) wind-wave hindcasting and return frequency analysis of storm wave events, (4) computing wave runup using CEDAS, SPM method, CEM method, and FEMA model, and (5) determining the coastal flood elevations based on the return tidal stage, sea level rise and wave runup.  The design recommendations and potential seawall improvement alternatives were developed based on the engineering analysis.  In Addition, the design and construction costs for the potential alternatives were developed, and the regulatory permitting requirements and potential funding sources were identified.


Foster City Levee Wave Runup Analysis, Foster City, CA.

NCI performed a levee wave runup analysis to determine the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) for a proposed levee plan at Foster City, California. The engineering analysis that was performed in accordance with the Guidelines and Specifications for Flood Hazard Mapping Partners issued by FEMA included deduction of fetch-limited wind waves and wave runup analysis based on the extreme tidal stage and severe hindcasted wind waves generated in San Francisco Bay.  Hourly readings of historical wind data for the San Francisco Airport from 1948 to 2004 were analyzed. The highest wave primarily generated by winds blowing from the northwest direction was estimated. Wave runups were predicted by using the FEMA wave runup model RUNUP2.0 for the highest wave as well as moderate waves that can be generated in the Bay.    Consequently, the 1-percent annual chance Base Floor Elevation (BFE) at the project site was determined by including both the extreme tide state and the effects of wave action.


Storm Surge Protection Wall for Gulf LNG Clean Energy Project, Jackson County, MS.

In September of 2008, Gulf LNG submitted a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) filing which provided responses to FERC Environmental Data Requests.  The FERC filing provided detailed data that support the final design of a new LNG facility’s Terminal Seawall and supplemented the general design information that was filed with FERC.

NCI conducted the independent coastal engineering technical review of the proposed surge protection wall design and supporting documents.  The tasks NCI performed included; Investigation of the 100-year storm surge elevation and offshore storm wave conditions; review of the hurricane storm wave modeling studies; review and re-calculate the wave forces on the surge protection wall;  review the wave-induced toe-erosion; calculate the wave runup and wave overtopping on the wall; recommendation of additional wave studies, and  providing detailed written review comments on the surge protection wall design.


Coastal Engineering Feasibility Study, Bahia de los Sueños, Baja California, Mexico  

NCI evaluated the feasibility of six waterfront development alternatives for a real estate development at the Bahia de los Sueños, Baja California, Mexico.  The six alternatives consisted of an open deep water lagoon, open shallow water lagoon, closed salt water lagoon, open mooring facility, docking facilities at “El Manglito”, and RO seawater desalination plant discharge.  The coastal analysis and water quality study performed included: oceanographic measurements and a bathymetric and beach survey; tidal harmonics analysis and tidal predictions; wind wave hindcasting; wave transformation using Mike 21-PMS; hurricane wave generation and transformation using Mike 21-SW; littoral processes, shoreline impact and beach erosion analysis; lagoon water circulation modeling using RMA2; lagoon water quality modeling using RMA4; evaluation of lagoon water quality based on water exchange time and residence time; tidal inlet hydrodynamic analysis to optimize the inlet design; modeling salinity distribution adjacent to the desalination discharge using RMA4 to optimize outfall placement and desalination plant design; analysis of open mooring facilities and docking facilities; and conceptual design of entrance channel jetties to the lagoon.


Wave Runup Analysis and Beach Impact Assessment For Aquatic Youth Center, Dockweiler Beach, Los Angeles County, CA.

A detailed engineering analysis was performed for the proposed (since constructed) Aquatic Youth Center at Dockweiler Beach to specifically address the characteristics of beach morphology during the winter seasons as well as on a long-term basis, and the wave runup elevations and impact on the beach during extreme storm conditions.  Therefore, the following work tasks were specifically addressed in this report; define the characteristics of the winter beach profile; characterize the long-term trend of the subject beach; analyze the storm return frequency; estimate the short-term eroded beach profiles under the severe storm conditions; computer wave runup elevations for the eroded beach profiles; assess the susceptibility of the proposed building against storm wave attack; and evaluate any adverse impacts to the adjacent beaches.

This coastal engineering assessment report described the site’s oceanographic conditions beach morphology particularly during the winter months, the storm-induced beach conditions and the resulting wave runup elevations.  It then assessed the vulnerability of the proposed Aquatic Youth Center against wave attack, and the potential adverse impacts on coastal processes as a consequence of the proposed coastal development.


Potrero Power Plant Shoreline Stone Revetment, San Francisco, CA.

Engineering analysis and design services were provided in support of a shoreline interim remedial measure (IRM) which included a stone revetment on top a reactive core mat along a portion of the shoreline adjacent to the Potrero Power Plant in San Francisco, California. The shoreline IRM consisted of concrete debris removal and surface removal of the Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) byproduct within the defined project area, and installation of a stone revetment over a reactive core mat, in order to stabilize the shoreline and enhance its appearance.

A coastal engineering analysis was conducted to develop the oceanographic design criteria for design of the revetment. The work performed in this analysis included: conducting statistic tidal stage analysis and determining return tidal stages; estimating sea level rise; conducting wind wave hindcasting and computing the wave conditions for different return frequencies; determining the revetment design parameters including the side slopes of the revetment, and the rock sizing and layer thickness for the armor layer and filter layer; and recommending construction methods and rock source. Engineering design services performed by NCI included: preparing permit design plans (grading plan & sections and revetment section details); producing the sediment erosion control and contingency plan draft specifications; preparing final construction drawings and specifications; performing final construction quantity takeoffs and cost estimate; evaluating construction schedule and methods; and providing construction support services during construction.


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