Marine Structures

Not Just About the Nuts & Bolts

There is more to designing a marine facility than just building it to last. Imagine strolling along a seawall that functions as it should. Now imagine a seawall that performs but also has aesthetics built into it such as a unique curved design feature that deflects the wave’s energy in an artistic and functional way; you can walk at the waterfront without getting splashed and still enjoy the scenery. We accomplish successful marine facility design by not only determining what diameter pile or size bolt should be used, but by harmonizing the many dynamic factors of the marine environment with a design that meets or exceeds the user expectations. Operations, safety, weather conditions, waves, currents, changing water levels, avoiding endangered species and environmental impacts, methods and timing of construction, maintenance and durability, all things considered and addressed in our marine facility plans and designs.

Our work on marine structures includes public and private facilities, from bulkheads and small pedestrian piers to large-container crane piers and a range of commercial facilities. Here are some of the services we provide:

  • Condition Assessments & Inspection
  • Project Feasibility Analysis
  • Planning
  • Public Involvement & Outreach
  • Project Funding & Grant Research
  • Permitting
  • Cost Estimating
  • Design
  • Construction Administration

010000+ creosote piling removed in past 20 years

010 miles of bulkhead designed

0200 marine structures inspected

Lake Terrell Fishing Pier

Bellingham, WALearn More

Edmonds Mid-Waterfront Bulkhead

Edmonds, WA

Chevron/Texaco Pier

Nassau, Bahamas

Fishermen's Terminal

Seattle, WALearn More

Taking a Deeper Dive


The marine environment is a harsh one and it takes careful thought and planning to design marine structures that stand the test of time. Below is a deeper look at some of the elements that go into designing successful marine structures for our clients.

Condition Assessments & Alternatives Analysis: We provide condition assessments on all types of marine structures from fixed piers to floats to bulkheads. We provide our clients with options and costs including life cycle analysis to allow our clients to make informed decisions on repair versus replacement.

Planning & Public Involvement: Reid Middleton has developed a reputation for its master planning expertise. We develop long-term plans that ensure future development happens in an efficient manner while promoting a cohesive vision. We have proven experience in project communications, public meetings, advisory groups, hearings, committees, and coordination with outside organizations, project stakeholders, and our clients including in house graphics and stakeholder outreach material expertise.

Public Involvement/Outreach: We have proven experience in project communications, public meetings, advisory groups, hearings, committees, and coordination with outside organizations, project stakeholders, and our clients. Our experience helps facilitate successful projects while also maintaining and building strong, long-term relationships between all stakeholders. Specific components of our public involvement campaigns have included speaking and presentations to a variety of stakeholder groups (including neighborhood, council, commission, public, shoreline, and grant committees). Materials developed and utilized for these public involvement campaigns have included PowerPoint® presentations; display boards; handouts; questionnaires; videos; Web sites; and interactive mediums. These materials are produced in-house by a team of skilled technical professionals as well as writers and graphic designers in the marketing department.

Permitting: Reid Middleton has led over one hundred permitting processes for marine facilities. Our team frequently works with the federal, state and local agencies, as well as Tribal interests to obtain permits for in-water projects. We integrate considerations to avoid or minimize environmental impacts from the very beginning of a project and assure these are implemented to protect our remarkable marine environment.

Grant Assistance: We have prepared grant applications and secured state and federal funding grants for marine projects. Our familiarity with a range of available funding programs enables our staff to produce high quality, focused applications that target and complement the goals of the funding programs, such as access, safety, capacity, security and mobility.

Design: Marine facilities design has been an integral and vibrant part of our services since our founding in 1953. These services have resulted in the successful creation of hundreds of acres of piers and marine cargo facilities, miles of bulkheads and shoreline restorations, thousands of marina slips, and over two hundred waterfront public access facilities. From the initial concept design through detailed structural analysis, to effective construction documents, our focus is a durable, low maintenance marine facility that meets or exceeds the user’s expectations.