Seawall-bulkheads, seacon, sustainability and resilience

Steven Nolan, Marco Rossini, Antonio Nanni

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Florida was an early adopter of concrete seawalls and bulkheads in sheltered marine environments. Land booms in the 1920's, 1950's, and 1960's lead to extensive development of the coastal and estuarine waterfront. Government environmental regulations in the 1970's slowed much of the shoreline armouring, but not before an estimated 6,000 km of reinforced and prestressed concrete seawalls "protected" the urban coastline of Florida. The legacy of these events in combination with an aggressive subtropical environment is an extensive maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement (MRR) liability, and many of these structural systems are beyond their intended design-life. The major share of the MRR liability will be borne by private owners (estimated at 80%). The limited understanding or expectation of the durability limits for these legacy systems at the time of installation necessitates considering a different approach for investment of future resources. FDOT collaborated with the SEACON project in the development and application of advancements in materials technology for effective deployed from a durability, economic and sustainability perspective. Primarily focused on fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) and stainless-steel reinforcing, in combination with seawater concrete and chloride contaminated aggregate, the SEACON research team is a partnership between US and Italian academic, commercial and government transportation stake-holders. Field demonstrations of real world structures utilizing these components have been constructed, documented and are being monitored. FDOT developed standards for carbon-FRP and high-strength stainless-steel, and is considering an emerging glass-FRP prestressing technology, for broader deployment of bridge piling, seawall construction and rehabilitation. This presentation presents a culmination of these efforts and a vision applicable to many coastal communities worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages18
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Event5th fib Congress, FIB 2018 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: Oct 7 2018Oct 11 2018


Conference5th fib Congress, FIB 2018


  • Bulkhead
  • Composites
  • FRP reinforcing
  • Prestressing
  • Seawall
  • Sheet pile wall

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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