he first phase of the managed mooring field for the
City of Sarasota opened in August, 2012 with 35 of
the permitted 109 moorings installed. The mooring
field is designed to help remove derelict vessels
from the waterways, and the mooring field also includes
upland amenities such as a store, laundry facilities, dockmaster
office, showers, and sewage pump-out facilities. The mooring
field is part of a pilot program initiated by the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) along with an
anchorage ordinance that prohibits vessels anchoring outside
of the mooring field for more than 90 days.
Complex and variable soil conditions necessitated a designbuild
approach to implement Phase 1 of the mooring field.
The City selected a design-build team to complete the project.
The design-build team was led by Dock & Marine as the
marine contractor, and the team included Coastal Systems as
engineers with American Underwater Contractors as the mooring
The design-build approach accounted for the team's combined
1) experience with marine foundations,
2) understanding of
coastal processes (wind/wave/currents),
3) mooring design/
construction experience, and
4) optimized construction
Coastal Systems selected a "stake" pile foundation system
consisting of steel H beams of varying lengths and sizes based
on the soil conditions and mooring loads from the design
vessels. Construction plans and technical specifications were
prepared to account for the environmental conditions, and
these plans were approved by the City prior to construction.
During construction, stake piles were precisely positioned with
marine surveying methods, and the piles were driven
underwater into the seabed with a specialized vibratory
hammer system. Each pile was tested and approved by the
City prior to installation of the mooring system to ensure the
pile foundation achieved the required design loads.
The mooring system consisted of a Stormsoft downline with
appropriate mooring hardware, buoy and pennant. The
mooring systems specified is proven technology in Florida and
will provide the City an engineered system with a long service
life. The design-build project, including preparation and
approvals of the design, was completed within three months of
the City's Notice-to-Proceed. Coastal Systems also completed
the permit compliance documentation and provided as-built
surveys to the agencies with jurisdiction on the project
including FWC, Florida DEP, and the U.S. Army Corps of
In 2013, the design-build team was awarded the contract to
construct the remainder of the mooring field. Seventy-four
H-pile anchors were installed while the crane barge was
mobilized. An additional 35 downlines were installed, and the
remaining downlines will be installed by the City at a later date.
In addition, the design-build team installed regulatory marker
signs in accordance with the FWC permits.