Ports & Harbors

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Many major docks and waterfront structures on the Mississippi River and elsewhere have been designed by Pyburn & Odom MCA. In 1993, we acquired the firm of Barnard and Thomas, Inc., a well known and established civil/marine firm. This led us to our position today as the major consultant to the Greater Baton Rouge Port (5th largest in the USA) and other Louisiana Ports as well.


Pyburn & Odom MCA has conducted broad based studies to provide our clients with a long range Master Plans for Port Development. These studies have involved tasks related to site selection and evaluation, and environmental overview. The required tasks to complete such studies include: (1) project management, (2) site studies and engineering analysis, (3) study of water bodies affected, (4) analysis of hydrologic characteristics, (5) existing dock facilities, (6) suitable port sites, (7) port development areas and existing transportation facilities, (8) waterborne traffic analysis, (9) comparison of available sites, (10) deep navigation channel, (11) environmental baseline survey, and (12) identification of future tasks. All information is then presented in report form which contains an executive summary of all results. 


Throughout Pyburn & Odom MCA's 53-year history of engineering projects on the Mississippi River, the firm has completed numerous significant waterfront structural projects. Our historical knowledge of Mississippi River and other waterways allowed us to make site selections and select construction methods and materials which are most adaptable and economical. We have designed tanker docks, barge facilities, water intake structures, bulkheads and other waterfront related structures for companies and terminals located on the Mississippi River. 

Typical examples of the firm's relevant project experience can be found at dock installations such as the Georgia Gulf facilities, Plaquemine, Louisiana; Amoco facilities, Port Hudson, Louisiana; Texas Pipeline facilities, Empire, Louisiana; Sunshine Oil and Storage facilities, Donaldsonville, Louisiana; Petro United Barge Dock, Sunshine, Louisiana; the Tanker Docks for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, St. James, Louisiana, the Docks for the Greater Baton Rouge Port, and most recently the TransMontaigne Terminal Dock in Port Hudson, Louisiana. 


Louisiana has hundreds of navigable streams and rivers, which are used extensively for commerce. Pyburn & Odom MCA has designed hundreds of bulkheads over the years consisting of concrete, wooden, and sheet pile construction. The design of these structures require a thorough knowledge of soil conditions, water tables, and subsurface pressure, as well as scour and bank stability. 


Examples of mooring facilities designed by Pyburn & Odom MCA engineers, are the midstream buoys for the Port of Baton Rouge. These pile anchor buoys were designed for flood stage flows in the Mississippi River and can support the mooring of ocean-going ships up to 80,000 DWT in size. Pyburn & Odom MCA also designed the mooring facilities for the Dow Chemical Company’s dock located in Plaquemine, Louisiana. Pyburn & Odom MCA’s marine design group designed the mid-stream mooring buoys for the Greater Baton Rouge Port. These buoys may be seen from the I-10 bridge crossing the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge. 


Pyburn & Odom MCA is routinely involved in the design and construction of cargo storage and conveyance facilities for ports along the Mississippi River. Design includes both land based storage warehouses and transit sheds elevated over water. Access ramp, bridge, road, and rail spur designs are included for complete cargo conveyance systems. Additionally, docks, as well as barge slips, have been designed for berthing ships and barges, both at the river and at slack water canals. 


Pyburn & Odom MCA’s structural inspection services have included inspection of municipal building roofs for repair and/or replacement, pile supported structures for design of pile rehabilitation systems including underwater structural inspections for damage assessment and design of repairs.


Pyburn & Odom MCA is accustomed to performing the required Dredging Studies necessary to create new water bottoms and channels, as well as to maintain shipping draft or to improve existing ones. Navigation channels, pipeline and other utility crossings, docking lanes and areas, drainage channels, and shore restoration are typical examples of dredging projects. Pyburn & Odom MCA has conducted numerous dredging studies utilizing land and water surveys, hydrologic/hydraulic analyses, and aerial photographic evaluation, including bank stability analysis and revetment surveys.


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