Current or recent marine construction projects on the west coast range from the removal of navigation hazards to the clean-sheet construction of floating facilities. The latter, a floating fireboat station, is in the works for the San Francisco waterfront. It will be the first of its kind in Northern California and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2020.

Swinerton-Power JV, a joint venture of two long-time San Francisco contractors, is the Design-Builder. Leading the project are Power Engineering Construction Co. and Swinerton Builders, along with key team members, Liftech Consultants as the marine engineer and architect Shah Kawasaki.

“Designing, permitting, and building a floating fireboat station on SF Bay, in such an iconic location, is a truly unique opportunity,” says David Mik, President of Power Engineering Construction Co. “Our team is excited to be kicking off construction after completing a demanding entitlement process.”

Situated at Pier 22½ just behind the operational historic firehouse and nestled beside the Bay Bridge, the new Fire Station 35 will provide San Francisco’s Fire Department with upgraded facilities and increased capacity for emergency-response services. Constructing the station on top of a floating barge is a solution to some critical future scenarios. It will seamlessly acclimate to sea level rise and will also experience limited impact in the event of a major earthquake.

Fire Station 35 will be a two-story building situated on a 16,600 sq. ft. steel barge secured by four 60-inch diameter by 150-foot long steel guide piles. This new facility will have berthing areas for multiple fireboats, other rescue craft including jet skis, and will also include a Maritime Disaster Operation Center, storage of critical rescue equipment and expanded facilities for firefighters.

Construction of the 96-foot by 173-foot steel barge has kicked off in Shanghai, China and will be delivered to Treasure Island, by a semi-submersible ship, in late 2019. It will be moored for several months for outfitting of the barge and construction of the building. The Treasure Island location offers access for crews and equipment that would be next to impossible at the final location along the Embarcadero in downtown San Francisco.

Once complete, tugboats will push the floating building to its final location at Pier 22½ in which on-site construction will be minimal. The existing dilapidated Piers 22½ and 24 will have already been demolished and installation of the new float will consist of driving guide piles and connecting to the vehicle access ramp. The vehicle ramp is 16 feet wide and will bridge the 90-foot gap between land and float, along with a new pier structure that is primarily for the public’s enjoyment of the waterfront and bay views.