In 2004, a comprehensive study of the historic seawalls of Charleston found that the concrete superstructure and the timber pile substructure of “The Turn” were severely deteriorated. The report concluded that “The Turn,” the most recently constructed portion of the historic seawall structures, was in poor condition and recommended replacement. The City of Charleston had a longevity requirement for the design. Going forward, the structure for “The New Turn” was to last “at least one hundred years.”
The design of “The New Turn” focused on maximizing the durability and impermeability of the concrete and preventing the premature corrosion of the steel reinforcing. Careful reconsiderations of the standard concrete cover requirements and other design features, specifications, and material durability, should successfully achieve the desired 100 year long service life required by the City of Charleston.
Additionally, the design of “The New Turn” provided an effective economical and sustainable solution and increased public usage. For economic and sustainable marine waterfront structures, value is not equivalent to just cost; value is a function of both cost and duration of service life. The economic and sustainable value of “The New Turn” is substantial with its anticipated very long service life.
The future value to the engineering profession is that this project proved that a 21st century solution can achieve outward compatibility with the historic past, while inwardly correcting the structural engineering errors of the past century.