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Marine Construction—Outfall Improvements to Protect North Myrtle Beach

A temporary trestle at a marine construction jobsite.
Manson’s innovative construction solution includes building a temporary trestle to maintain land access throughout construction, protect turtle migration, and allow public beach access. Photo credit: DDC Engineers/Bolten & Menk, Inc.

An excavator removing sand on a jobsite.
A view from the trestle of the 18th Ave. North Ocean Outfall crew working safely to remove material from the cofferdam. Photo credit: J.Anthony Tedpahogo—Copywriter

Manson’s 18th Avenue North Ocean Outfall project will prevent beach erosion and help maintain healthy water quality by replacing one of the several aging storm drains along the quiet, nine-mile-long beach community of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Installing the twin 54-in. storm drainage pipe will be an important milestone for the North Myrtle Beach project, says Project Engineer Moe Kanaan. “Installing the pipe will be a good indicator of the project’s outlook,” Moe explains.

A group of people at a meeting.
The project team meet every Tuesday to discuss important information including, safety, project updates, and planning. Top row (L-R) Project Engineer Moe Kanaan; Project Manager David French; Field Engineer Cole Reardon, and Project Administrator Laura Patterson. Bottom row (L-R) Superintendent Duane Hover; Project Manager Ryan Gielow, and Project Engineer Ilias Sgourides. Photo credit: J.Anthony Tedpahogo—Copywriter

“The project team and craft have had a very good handle on all the preparation and work leading up to pipe installation, which will be the last new scope of work before we get started on the outfall portion.”

Getting Started at North Myrtle Beach

The project kicked off in December 2022, when Project Manager David French, Moe, Field Engineer Malaree Scott, Estimator Sean Bryant, General Superintendent Ray Givan, Superintendent Dwayne Hover, and Project Administrator Laura Patterson began planning and setting up the laydown yard at the Old Time Concrete Inc. property—owned by the Vereen Family of North Myrtle Beach. Typically, the property serves as both a small concrete plant and a storage area for the Vereen family’s miscellaneous vehicles and heavy equipment. With their work cut out for them, the project staff worked with an experienced team of Manson craft personnel to mobilize several heavy pieces of equipment to clear up debris and existing timber on site. “The first two weeks was a full-on operation of clearing, grubbing, and surfacing the property to be utilized as our laydown yard,” Moe says. “The project team and superintendents did a great job identifying where the project materials were going to be placed.”

Laura—who was brand new to the Manson team— worked with David to get the trailer set up for operations. “I trained in Jacksonville for a few weeks, and then I hit the ground running when I came back to North Myrtle Beach,” Laura explains. “Setting up the temporary work trailer and getting the city to install water and electricity was something I had never done before. I learned along the way with help from David and the rest of the project team.” With the installation of the temporary workspaces and utilities, the project team began transporting equipment and project materials to the yard. In under three weeks, the project team completely transformed the yard into a fully functional laydown area, providing a home base for Manson personnel and visitors.

Beachside at 18th Avenue North In January 2023, the project crew—led by General Foreman Robbie Stalcup—began work at the job site at 18th Avenue North, a three-minute drive from the laydown yard. “I worked on the City of Rehoboth Beach Ocean Outfall project in 2017, so this is my second outfall project,” Robbie explains. “This job is different because we’re working with concrete pipes this time around.”

To start, the crew used several pieces of heavy equipment, including cranes and excavators, to install the precast concrete junction box which would hold the twin concrete pipes in place. Once they set the junction box, crews began excavating the beach to install the cofferdam, a watertight area built using steel sheet piles starting from land and working out into the water. This cofferdam would temporarily house the pipes where crews could build the permanent structure in a dry area. “The cofferdam is one of the most important structures on the project,” says Piledriver Foreman Miguel Delgado. “We have two cranes driving and grading sheet piles on the north and south side. We are getting things done quickly and efficiently.”

A piledriver foreman on a jobsite.
Piledriver Foreman Miguel Delgaldo just after his morning meeting with the piledriving crew at 18th Ave North. Photo credit: J.Anthony Tedpahogo—Copywriter

Due to the beachside location of the project and the shallow water, crews built a temporary trestle to provide a pathway for the crew and equipment. The trestle was an innovative solution provided by Manson which allows construction to continue while protecting turtle migration in the area, which occurs from May through October. This approach also allowed the City of North Myrtle Beach to open this popular beach for public access on time during Memorial Day Weekend, while providing continued land access for the outfall construction crews.

Three piledrivers on a jobsite.
The piledriving crew setting the vibratory hammer in place to grade sheet piles for the cofferdam. Photo credit: J.Anthony Tedpahogo—Copywriter

“Once we install the junction box, drive the pile sheets, and set the pipe in place, we will continue to build the trestle way out into the water,” says Field Engineer Cole Reardon.

What’s left at 18th Avenue North?

There is a shared excitement amongst the project team and crew about making headway toward the water and installing the subaqueous pipe with the help of divers and a HydroPull bulkhead—a joining system that will set the pipes in place without a mechanical connection. Outfitted with a pump, the HydroPull will fit at the end of the seaward-facing pipe with a landside bulkhead installed on the opposite end beachside. Once the HydroPull is placed and sealed at the end of the pipe, an operator on the surface will turn on the pump, creating a vacuum-like process that will pull both pipes together. Once the first pipe is placed with the HydroPull, the project team will repeat the same process until the installation is complete. Given the milestones and success found throughout the project, the team should have no problem restoring the storm drain just in time to open the beach for the public to enjoy the summer.

The team’s experience has fast-tracked the project’s various phases, which David describes as a unique advantage. “The project team and the crew on this project are top-notch due to the communication and skills of each individual,” David says. “We have been able to blend the experience of the people we have on this job to create success.”

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