July 2014 Chapter Meeting

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Join your Chapter Colleagues for an interesting presentation on San Francisco Seawall, History, Past Performance, and Future Challenges.

Time: 5:30-7:30pm (5:30pm Networking; 6.00pm Program)
Location: AGS Inc., 5 Freelon Street, San Francisco, CA 94107. (Map)
RSVP: chapterinfo@eerinc.org by Wednesday July 16th. Please RSVP so that we order enough food; however, don’t hesitate to bring along a suddenly inspired co-worker at the last minute!

Topic: San Francisco Seawall, History, Past Performance, and Future Challenges


 Steven Reel Steven Reel received a BS in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University and a Masters in Structural Engineering from Stanford University.  He is a project manager with the Port of San Francisco where he is responsible for delivering capital improvement projects along 7 miles of waterfront. Recent projects include the Brannan Street Wharf, Pier 43 Bay Trail Link, Pier 36 removal, Heron’s Head Park Improvements, Pier 70 Development Projects, and the San Francisco Seawall. Prior to joining the Port in 2009, Steven worked as a consulting engineer for 15 years designing and retrofitting numerous structures. Notable projects include the SFO Upper Level Viaduct EQ Retrofit, BART West Oakland Station EQ Retrofit, CALTRANS Local Agency Bridge EQ Retrofit Program, new San Jose City College Parking Structure, and the new Illinois Street Intermodal Bridge.
 Deron van Hoff Deron van Hoff received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley and an MS in Geotechnical Engineering from UT Austin.  He is a Vice President with Geotechnical Consultants, Inc. in their San Francisco office. His recent projects have included Brannan Street Wharf, Port of San Francisco Seismic Engineering Standard, San Francisco Public Safety Building, Harry Tracy Water Treatment Plant, BART Aerial Guideway Structures seismic retrofit, and California High Speed Rail San Jose to Merced project section. Deron has been a practicing geotechnical engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1998, and prior to that worked in Southern California and Boston, MA. Deron has been active with the San Francisco Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Bay Bridge Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies, and is a member of the Northern California Chapter of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.


The San Francisco Seawall is a rockfill and concrete bulkhead wall/wharf structure that protects four miles of shoreline along the Bay from Fisherman’s Wharf in the north to Pier 50 in the south. Construction began in the late 1800’s and was completed over the next 30 years. The wall was built by dredging a trench several hundred feet Bayward from the natural shoreline, filling with rock, and capping with a concrete bulkhead wall and wharf structure. The land behind the seawall was gradually filled to create backlands extending to the original shore and pile supported finger piers were built extending into the Bay. Today, the backlands include the Embarcadero Promenade and Roadway, the Muni light rail line and F line historic street cars, major utilities, public open spaces and plazas, and buildings of various types. Of the 40 original Piers, 20 remain and are highly valuable assets. The seawall, bulkhead wharf, and piers are important historic and cultural resources which together form the Embarcadero Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

The Port has just begun a major evaluation of the seawall including existing condition assessment, impacts of sea level rise, and earthquake performance and safety. This presentation will focus on the original construction, past earthquake performance, expected earthquake performance based on limited investigations, and future challenges. The presentation will also provide an overview of past studies that have addressed liquefaction, lateral spread and seismic slope stability along the San Francisco waterfront, and provide the methodologies and results of an assessment of these hazards for the Brannan Street Wharf project.

EERI Northern California Chapter | c/o EERI National | 499 14th Street Suite 320 | Oakland, CA 94612-1934 USA | chapterinfo@eerinc.org