Owensboro Riverport Authority: Slack Water Harbor

Owensboro, Kentucky

Owner and Client: Owensboro Riverport Authority

Geotechnical Engineer: Vector Engineers, Inc.

Project Managers:  W. Robert Folsom, PE
Wayne A. Karem, PhD, PE, PG

Completion Date:  August 2010

Vector Engineers, Inc. provided geotechnical engineering for the planning and preliminary design for a slack water harbor that was planned for the Riverport in Owensboro, Kentucky. The proposed development consisted of a harbor that was 35 to 40 feet deep, 285 feet wide by 1350 feet long inland from the Ohio River bank. The project would excavate into the riverbank to construct a barge loading facility.

In conjunction with the subsurface exploration, Vector Engineers performed an overall evaluation of the feasibility of constructing such a harbor. Our evaluation included the stability of the future banks in soft alluvial soils, preliminary designs for 45-foot tall sheet pile walls, impact loading for dolphins, erosion protection for the banks, and rock anchors. As a result of our extensive evaluation, the project was determined to be too expensive to build.