Waterfront Engineering

R&M provides planning, design, permitting, and bid and construction support services related to waterfront facilities for ports and harbors throughout Alaska. Alaska’s waterfront facilities are unique in that designs must consider the often remote locations, unique geologic conditions, seismicity, extreme tidal ranges and cold, harsh climate. Considerations may include robust, simple or low-maintenance facilities; design considerations for snow and ice loads, icing surfaces or ice buildup/bonding; consideration for snow removal activities; cold temperature effects on utility design and seasonal versus year-round utility services. R&M’s experience includes a variety of marine project types: docks/wharfs/bulkheads/piers, vessel moorage floats, barge landing facilities, breakwaters, boat launch ramps, fender systems, wave analysis and shoreline erosion protection, dredging, sediment transport, facility condition inspections and renovation/maintenance projects, and port and harbor master plans.

Group Manager - Waterfront Engineering

Kim Nielsen, PE


read Kim's bio

Kim has 22 years of experience in engineering investigation, design and bid/construction support for a variety of marine construction projects throughout Alaska. She specializes in design considerations particular to coastal Alaska, such as wind, waves, ice, corrosion, vessel navigation and berthing requirements, shoreline erosion, cold climate, material availability, and remote site work. Kim enjoys working closely with her clients to build a rapport and better understand their needs, preferences, and site-specific issues and engages her clients in the decision-making process by bringing viable alternatives to the table. Kim holds a B.S. in Ocean Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology, and is involved in the American Society of Civil Engineers’-Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute, Engineers Without Borders, Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators, and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers.

The existing Seward Marine Industrial Center (SMIC) basin is exposed to the Gulf of Alaska and is insufficiently protected from storm waves and long period swell, resulting to damage to existing facilities and potentially unsafe operations. R&M completed a condition/repair assessment, coastal/wave modeling, and preliminary design and public involvement to achieve a preferred alternative for a new breakwater and an expanded basin with new dock and float facilities that will support large scale commercial fishing vessel and barge operations. We are currently completing geotechnical investigations, sediment characterization for dredging, and permitting that will allow our team to prioritize, design and construct the facilities in multiple phases of work.
This project will replace D-Float and provide 58 new slips for 40’ long vessels. In addition to the main and stall floats, the project will replace the approach trestle, 80’ gangway ramp, potable water, dry standpipe fire suppression, shore power and lighting systems. The new floats utilize an innovative and cost-effective design using timber frame and deck with polyethylene flotation tubs that keep the timber out of the water. The floats will be equipped with seasonal potable water, dry standpipe fire suppression, shore power and lighting.
R&M has held this contract continuously over since 1989. Over this period, our dedicated team has performed well over 150 separate work tasks for the Port, including annual inspections, NPDES permitting support, pile repairs, boat ramp repairs, environmental assessments, security upgrades, dock retrofits, POL repairs, fender upgrades, building roof replacements, replat studies, water line replacements, master plan support, etc. This contract provides the Port with direct access to R&M’s multi-discipline engineering support for ongoing maintenance and planning needs.