Palmer Pier Replacement Construction Scheduled
New Pier to be Constructed in 2021-2022
April 21, 2021
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is moving ahead with plans to rebuild the pier at Palmer Station, its research facility on Anvers Island, Antarctica. The U.S. Antarctic Program's primary contractor, Leidos, which heads the Antarctic Support Contract (ASC), has signed Pacific Pile & Marine of Seattle, WA, to lead the construction effort. The project is the first critical step of a broader upgrade planned to make the research station more efficient and improve science capacity.
The research vessel Laurence M. Gould pulls away from Palmer Station while participants gather at the pier to bid farewell.
The existing 50-year-old pier has exceeded its design life and is in need of frequent repairs to maintain its integrity. Replacing it with a modern design will reduce the required maintenance and ensure safe and efficient operations for years to come.
Pacific Pile & Marine has begun ordering supplies and will transport the majority of construction materials to Palmer Station on a barge departing Seattle in austral spring 2021. Once it arrives at Palmer Station in early November, construction will begin in full and is scheduled to conclude by July, 2022.
The new pier will be more than three times larger than the current one. Measuring 80 feet at its widest and 118 feet long, it will extend farther out from the station into deeper water to allow the mooring of larger ships.
R&M Consultants, also a subcontract to Leidos, designed the new pier. Its steel pile-supported concrete slab structure takes into account the challenging geology of Hero Inlet, where Palmer Station is located.
For more information, refer to the NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Impacts to Antarctic Research Support at Palmer Station due to Construction of the new Pier and the Palmer Pier Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).