New Ro-Ro terminal opens at Texas Port Beaumont

US engineering firm McCarthy Building Companies has completed construction of a new Ro-Ro terminal at the Port of Beaumont on the Texas Gulf Coast.

The Main Street Terminal 1 project included the demolition of a failed dock structure and the construction of a new general cargo dock. McCarthy said that by building a new terminal, the port aimed to increase its general cargo handling capacity by more than 15 percent.

McCarthy began work on the Main Street terminal in February 2022 and achieved substantial completion two years to several months ahead of schedule.

Main Street Terminal 1 is the largest of the 20 projects in the Port of Beaumont Capital Improvements Program.

The original 100-year-old pier at the Main Street terminal collapsed in 2012, and the original concrete slab slid into the water due to corrosion of the pilings. This required the demolition of the entire pier, and parts of the pier remained underwater with almost zero visibility.

McCarthy first needed to remove everything directly above and just below the subsurface mud line before installing the new dock in the footprint of the old dock, as any underwater obstructions would have made the pile driving installation difficult.

To establish what exactly was underwater, McCarthy used divers and an unmanned survey vessel (USV) that allowed divers to maneuver safely and efficiently.

Once the area was surveyed, McCarthy used punches, demolition tools that could be dropped into water, to break the debris into more manageable pieces before removing them. The punches included a steel-tipped pile that could be strategically driven into the old pier to break it, without creating excess underwater debris.

The new pier is 365 meters (1,200 feet) long and 39 meters (130 feet) wide, with a larger section in the middle that measures 46 meters (152 feet) wide. Its construction consists of concrete piles, cast-in-place concrete beams and girders, precast concrete deck panels, and a concrete top slab.

McCarthy did all the concrete and piling installation himself, as well as the installation of utilities, including water and sewer.