USS Constitution Pier 1 Structural Repairs



Client: NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic Norfolk, VA and National Park Services, Charlestown, MA
Value: $14.3 million
Project Date: October 2014 - March 2017
Project Cut-sheet: Download


The United States Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) contracted Jay Cashman, Inc. to undertake the renovation, repair, and reconstruction of the berth and surrounding wharf that is home to the world's oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat, the USS Constitution. The project, located in the Charlestown Navy Yard and part of the Boston National Historical Park, took just under two years and was completed on time and on budget. 

This project presented unique challenges for our construction management team and required meticulous attention to the scope of work while preserving the historical composition and structural elements of the existing pier and berth. The location of the project is under the jurisdiction of the United States National Park Service, and is adjacent to a very active pier, which was open and accessible to the public at all times. The project access intersected with areas that required security clearance from the United States Navy. The overlapping jurisdictional issues and security measures required constant communication and extensive logistical coordination with NAVFAC and additional agencies including: the United States National Park Service and the Naval History & Heritage Command, Detachment Boston. 

When our team arrived onsite to begin the project, the 200-year-old vessel had not yet been moved and dry-docked as planned, requiring us to carefully choreograph the work within 20 feet of the historical vessel for the first two months of the project. Another obstacle to overcome was working around the Constitution’s active-duty Navy crew’s Colors Ceremony, a time-honored military tradition of raising the national flag every morning and retiring it every evening, concluding with cannon fire at 8:00CASHMAN and dusk from the cannon on the USS Constitution. With the USS Constitution being moved to dry dock, the cannon had to be safely relocated to the pier we were working on and we had to coordinate around it in order to continue the cannon-firing tradition, dating back to 1798. Additionally, in order to maintain the historical accuracy of the pier, 42,000 square feet of new coated-steel sheetpile bulkhead had to be driven on a batter, which also added complexity to the project.

The project site was turned over to NAVFAC in March 2017, well ahead of the date that the USS Constitution was floated back into her renovated home. 


  • The finger pier is comprised of two sections: a steel and concrete section (walkway) and a timber and concrete section (timber pier). There is a fender system for the timber pier to protect it from wear and impact from the camels used to breast the USS Constitution. The finger pier required rehabilitation to regain full function.
  • Work included demolition, removal and disposal of existing site features, hazardous materials, waterfront structures, and utility systems.
  • Pier-related work included construction of a steel sheet pile bulkhead, a pile-supported pier, fender systems, mooring hardware and dolphins.
  • Site work included grading, paving and cobblestone pavement, drainage systems, utility systems (water, electric power, and lighting) landscape features, reconstruction of a section of historic railroad, and incidental related work.
  • To comply with the Marine Mammal Protection Act, CASHMAN also provided Marine Mammal Monitoring and data collection.


  • 42,000 square feet of new coated-steel sheetpile bulkhead, driven on a batter
  • 44 each 12.75-inch diameter coated-steel pipe piles, both battered and plumb
  • 108 each 13 to 17-inch-diameter greenheart timber piles, driven on a batter
  • 62,000 board foot of timber fender system – 3 levels
  • 2,600 cubic yards of concrete
  • 11 each 70-ton bollard foundations supported by 66 micropiles
  • 10,000 square feet of granite paver and granite cobble paving
  • Cathodic protection system including 65,000 lbs. of anodes
  • 3,900 square yards of bituminous paving

Click to learn more about the work being done on the USS Constitution:
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