Thanks in part to Morrison-Knudsen’s cutting edge construction techniques building the Port of Seattle’s state-of-the-art cargo handing facilities helped take a sleepy, largely under used harbor to the nations 8th busiest serving 18 international steamship lines moving more than 1.88 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit containers). The Company performs ongoing upgrades both on the harbor decks and dredging of the shipping lanes to keep the northwest harbor competitive.
The Port of Jacksonville is an international trade seaport on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida. The newest port in the United States, it carries over 21 million tons of cargo each year and is the second largest handler of vehicles in the United States with 656,805 in fiscal year. Morrison Knudsen answered yet another call to serve it’s country when the company worked hand in hand with The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to perform the harbor dredging in 1952, 1978 and 2003. The company also combined forces with the United States Navy to bring the first Naval presence to Jacksonville shortly before World War II when we constructed two facilities. Today, the Naval Station Mayport, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Blount Island Command (Marines) and nearby Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay form the third largest military presence in the United State where the Company continues to work in keeping the facility a state of the art harbor and base.
Beginning in the late 1940’s MK built and still performs a triad of construction in the Port of Portland. It consists of marine terminals, located along the Willamette River and the Columbia River that are served by rail, that connect interstates and river barges. The company takes great pride in the part we played in pulling all these ends to the middle that resulted in over one thousand businesses and corporations using the Port’s marine facilities and over 12 million tons of cargo moving through the Port each year.
The Company was instrumental not only in the design and engineering but the construction of the Seaway’s locks and and flood control. The experience the Company had in the construction of Egypt’s Suez Canal was implemented in the St Lawrence construction. The Company executed an aggressive schedule for the customer by continuing with the excavation and dredging of the site through the cold Quebec winters. Since its original completion we have upgraded the computer and monitoring controls; enlarged the waterway’s tonnage capacity of the Seaway making it one of North America’s marquee harbors and naval passages.
In the early 1930s, Morrison-Knudsen applied it’s innovating spirit as it found ways to deal with the perils of the Pacific Ocean when they began a massive expansion of the port with the construction of a breakwater three miles out and over two miles in length. In addition to the construction of this outer breakwater, an inner breakwater was built off Terminal Island with docks for seagoing ships and smaller docks built at Long Beach. In 1946, after World War II, Morrison Knudsen helped establish the Port of Long Beach as America’s most modern port with the completion of the first of nine clear-span transit sheds. Since then the Company has continued contracting on the harbor to keep its designation as the country’s largest port by both tonnage and containers.
During World War II, Morrison-Knudsen in conjunction with the United States Army constructed a military facility, complete with port and railroad terminus near the Whittier glacier and named the facility Camp Sullivan. After we completed the spur of the Alaska Railroad to Camp Sullivan in 1943 the port of Whittier became the entrance for United States soldiers into Alaska. Since that period the Company has performed several upgrades and is a popular summer destination for many Morrison Knudsen employees and management.
Morrison-Knudsen has been involved in the creation of the San Diego Harbor in one aspect or another from its inception. Beginning in the 1940’s with the dredging of San Diego Bay for US Navy requirements in World War II which required a deepening of the harbor channel, to the completion of the bulk loading terminal at the Tenth Marine Terminal in 1963. In 2010 we were contracted to upgrade its container handling facility.
The Company had a huge responsibility and honor when we were tasked in the construction and opening of the nation’s first facility for container shipping which became the prototype in 1958. This prototype quickly became the modern version of the Port of New York and New Jersey. It includes the system of navigable waterways in the estuary along 650 miles of shoreline in the vicinity of New York City and northeastern New Jersey, as well as the region’s airports and supporting rail and roadway distribution networks. Considered one of the largest natural harbors in the world, the port is by tonnage the third largest in the United States and the busiest on the East Coast.
The Port of Anchorage is a critical link between the U.S. state and Alaska providing an estimated 90% of the merchandise cargo to 80% of Alaska’s populated areas. The Port of Anchorage began operations in September 1961, and in its first year over 38,000 tons of marine cargo moved across its single berth. Thanks largely to Morrison-Knudsen’s advanced construction techniques, it was the only port in South Central Alaska to survive the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake and became the main shipping hub for consumer and essential goods entering Alaska. We ended up being one of the harbor’s biggest customers when we commenced building the Alaska Pipeline along with several of the pumping stations and related infrastructure. The Company also constructed the tank farm and built the pipelines to the Port.
In conjunction with building the original infrastructure for oil production in Prudhoe Bay in 1969, the Company was further tasked with constructing the drilling islands well away from the shore. Starting in 1980 the Company built Seal Island, Mukluk, Northstar, Endicott, Gull, Resolution Island in Prudhoe Bay. The drill islands ranged in size from 20 to 55 acres with the largest being Mukluk which included 5.5 million cubic yards of dredging and excavation under a $100 million contract. The work was performed in 70 below weather with no lost time and months ahead of schedule. Additional work included 120 miles of roads leading to the islands and the placement of 2,000,000 tons of rip rap for the completed structures. Mukluk remains the biggest man made island in North America enjoying 36 years of having that designation.
Cam Ranh Bay is a deep-water bay in Vietnam in the province of Khanh Hoa. The Company worked under the toughest of conditions constantly under attack by communist forces and shelling by the North Vietnamese Army during the sixties. With the help and protection of the US Navy and Marine Corps the harbor was constructed 6 months ahead of schedule enabling the Department of Defense to bring in much needed military supplies during the Vietnam War. The project was one of many the Company built in Vietnam under war time conditions and is considered finest deep water port in Asia. Another project that was given an accelerated construction schedule where the Company was placing 300,000 cubic yards of fill and rock per day.