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Our New Pier

As of the summer of 2012, the DEI pier project was complete.  The last items, lights, a seawater pump, and floating docks, were all installed by August 2012.  All construction was completed in late December 2011, and that construction history from mid-May 2011 to early January 2012 is recorded in the photos below.

Brief History

In 2009, DEI received a grant from the Maine Technology Institute (MTI) through the Maine Technology Asset Fund.  A portion of those funds was used to replace a wooden pier that existed until 2006 with a 30-ft x 100-ft pier comprised primarily of fiber composite materials.   

Kleinschmidt Associates (Pittsfield, Maine) performed the engineering, Harbor Technologies LLC (Brunswick, Maine) produced the fiber composite materials (pilings, pile caps, deck units, and floats), and DeLong Marine (Brewer, Maine) constructed the pier. 

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for the summer of 2012, when DEI holds its annual Shellfish Field Day.

The photo below shows the nine composite pilings that were installed by DeLong Marine in May 2011.  Each piling is hollow and approximately 1/2-inch thick.  All nine pilings were driven to refusal (ledge).  The photo was taken on an extreme low tide. 


Photo of pilings taken on 5-19-2011 at Black Duck Cove


Mike DeLong's barge installing fiber composite pilings on May 19, 2011


Pouring concrete for the pier abutment on May 26, 2011


Earthwork to prepare for the composite pile caps (June 3, 2011)


Composite pilings cut off evenly in preparation for pile caps (Aug. 17, 2011)


Composite pile caps (September 8, 2011)


First two of three composite pile caps placed over the pilings (September 22, 2011)


The third pile cap is in place, and cement is being poured in the nine pilings and in the three pile caps from a shoreside concrete boom truck (September 28, 2011)


Mobile Concrete Pumping, Hermon ME - Patrick Thibodeau             (September 28, 2011)


The first two (of twelve) composite deck units (October 6, 2011)


All composite deck units installed (October 17, 2011)


Angled reinforcement (rebar) rods installed to increase strength of deck units (October 6, 2011)


Deck units filled with cement (October 19, 2011)


A double matrix of rebar rod is laid down over the deck units                  (November 7, 2011)


Concrete being poured through the rebar rods onto the deck units (ca. 10-inches thick) (November 8, 2011)


Finishing the pour near the shoreside end of the pier (November 8, 2011)


Wooden handrails and most composite fender piles are installed (December 14, 2011)


The two 12-ft x 24-ft composite floating docks arrive from Harbor Techologies (Brunswick, ME) (December 14, 2011)


A 60-ft aluminum gangway will enable us to reach the two floating docks when they are deployed in Spring 2012 (January 6, 2012)


The Downeast Institute's pier, ca. 98% finished (January 6, 2012)


Two 24-ft floats are installed on March 26, 2012.  The aluminum walkway is 60-ft.


The two 24-ft x 12-ft floats are made of fiber composites, as are all of the structural elements of the pier.


This photo was taken on March 27, 2012 from the floating docks looking south toward the shoreside end of the pier.  Three angled fender pilings can be seen in the right half of the photo.  You can also see the composite pilecap that is closest to shore.


Slate Island can be seen from the end of the pier.  A brisk, northwest breeze fills the bay with whitecaps (March 27, 2012)


March 27, 2012


The photos below give a brief history of the old, wooden pier that we inherited in 2003, when we first rented the property.

The pier, or wharf as it was called by local fishermen, was used as a lobster buying station.  This photo, taken on May 1, 2003, shows that the far end is beginning to sink into the mud below.  Approximately 30 feet of soft, unconsolidated mud occurs over ledge at the end of the wharf.  The wooden timbers used when the wharf was built (late 1990's) were not long enough to reach the ledge.  As a result, the end of the wharf gradually continued to sink into the deep mud, and this caused major structural damage to the entire structure.


This is the wharf looking from the north towards the south on May 1, 2003.  A distinct bending of the walkway can be seen.


In this photo, taken on January 15, 2004, the wharf is encased in ice that is adding tremendous weight to the structure.  Notice that the end of the wharf is at a greater angle than it was the previous May.

This photo shows the wharf on August 25, 2004 looking north toward Slate Island (with the white camp) and in the distance, Jonesport.  Notice the sharp angle from the landward end to the seaward end of the wharf.  The pilings continue to sink into the soft mud below.

No matter what the problems were with the old wharf, the view of Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbor is always stunning.  This photo was taken on March 4, 2004.

During the fall of 2007, most of the wharf had collapsed, and when this photo was taken (May 6, 2008), the only functional feature was the end closest to the land.  We continued to pump seawater from this structure into the shellfish production center until April 2011.

On the spring tides of each month, the water at low tide would recede below the area where the pumps were located.  A float switch would turn off the pump, and remain off for a period of about 2 hr while the tide finally re-inundated the pump. Here, you can just see the outline of the 18-inch diameter culvert that held the seawater pump.  It is lashed vertically to the end of the existing structure. 

The old ballast bed (May 6, 2008)

These were the culverts used to hold one of two seawater pumps.  The one on the right is holding the pump.  This photo was taken on April 8, 2011.


In August 2009, Mike DeLong arrived on the scene to help us determine the amount of soft mud covering the ledge.  He pounded steel rods at three positions from shore (25-ft, 50-ft, and 100-ft) to determine the distance to refusal.  Ultimately, the information he generated would allow Harbor Technologies to know how long to make each length of composite piling.


Eventually, the old ballast bed was removed so that the new composite pilings could be installed.

This is one of the last photos taken of the old wharf (during November 2010)


Thanks to everyone involved in the project - Mike DeLong (DeLong Marine), Harbor Technologies, Kleinschmidt Associates, and George Protopopescu (DEI).

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