San Jacinto Battleground Monument - Shoreline Protection FOR a National Historic site, An exercise in Adaptive Managment
Cris K. Weber1, Dr. Athar Abbas2, Neil Thomas3
The San Jacinto Battleground Monument in Deer Park is located to the west of the city of Houston, at the Houston Ship Channel. Historically, this national monument has been protected with a steel sheetpile bulkhead, which has stabilized the toe of the slope at the shoreline, towards the north of the monument. It holds the shoreline against the erosive forces of the Houston Ship Channel. This is the area that was a portion of the Texian camp at the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, which was the battle that won Texas independence from Mexico.
The existing 1,600 linear foot steel sheetpile bulkhead located just south of the current Battleship Texas berth appeared to be in a state of disrepair. Texas Park and Wildlife Department (TPWD) initiated the planning of the bulkhead wall repair process to ensure the shoreline is stabilized for another 50 years. The engineering design/plans for rehabilitation were required comply with the requirements outlined in the 2007 Coastal Impact Assistance Program (ClAP) funding application submitted by TPWD for project funding, where $2.6M was approved by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) for disbursement to TPWD for the assessment, design and repair/replacement of as much of the bulkhead as possible.
TPWD contracted with Atkins to provide the preliminary engineering analysis assessing the required repairs necessary to meet the TPWD project objectives and providing a Priority Matrix of critical repair recommendations. Atkins then conducted a comprehensive field program to determine overall system integrity, including: a multi-beam hydrographic survey, a structural investigation using non-destructive and visual assessments, a geotechnical investigation characterizing soil conditions, and a physical excavation for assessment of the existing tie-back system.
The initial priority matrix for the bulkhead was intended to divide the bulkhead into several sections, each with similar degradation characteristics for categorical ranking of remaining useful life and level of urgency for repairs. There were three categories established:
“Major”, (for components that must be addressed immediately)
“Moderate” (for components that should be addressed with available funding)
“Minor” (for the components that may be addressed over the long-term)
However, upon evaluation of the collected field data, it was apparent that because of the factor of safety used for the structural design, the sheet pile bulkhead was intact and structurally sound. Because of this structural stability, Atkins then adapted the Priority Matrix to address the overall structural integrity of the bulkhead system, which greatly increased the structural improvement recommendations to include: Scour protection for the bulkhead, cathodic protection for the sheetpile wall, complete repair of the bulkhead concrete cap and integrating an upland sidewalk and handrails for improved public access, installation of fendering system to mitigate potential impacts and allow water-side access.
Contact Information: Cris K. Weber, Coastal Restoration and Planning, Freese and Nichols, Inc., 10431 Marodo Circle, Building 5, Suite 300, Austin, Texas 78759 USA, Phone: 521-342-3213, Fax: 512-327-2453, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cris Weber graduated from Texas A&M with a BS in Ocean Engineering and from the University of Florida with an MS in Coastal Engineering. He has over 15 years of experience as a project manager and project engineer working with coastal engineering and other multidisciplinary consulting companies. His coastal work experience includes projects in South Florida, Texas, Louisiana, the Caribbean and Mexico.
Freese and Nichols, Inc., Austin Texas
ATKINS, Houston, Texas
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas