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Smith Canal Gate Project Represents Shimmick’s Ingenuity

Home > 2021 > Smith Canal Gate Project Represents Shimmick’s Ingenuity



The $50M Smith Canal Gate project for San Joaquin Area Flood Control Agency (SJAFCA) began in June of 2020 and involves the construction of a miter gate structure at the mouth of Smith Canal to decrease the risk of flooding in the surrounding community and protect the greater Stockton residents from needing flood insurance, per the state’s Urban Levee Design Criteria (ULDC).

Shimmick is constructing a permanent cellular sheet pile flood wall at the juncture between Dad’s Point and the eastern boundary of the Stockton Golf & Country Club, tying into the existing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) accredited levee. The floodwall will feature a miter gate for boat access to Atherton Cove and Smith Canal. The gate will remain open, except during high water and tide events and for periodic testing. Dad’s Point will be raised and strengthened to allow certification as a levee.

A notable project challenge involves constructing approximately 700 feet of cellular flood wall—a wall of circular, hollow cells, to be eventually filled. This puzzle involves 1475 metal sheets that must be installed exactly so to ensure alignment, tolerance, and functionality.

Shimmick is working with large, in-water equipment, making several trips daily back and forth from the staging yard on land to the work site in the San Joaquin River, navigating international water traffic around the Port of Stockton. The team is using a 60-foot by 150-foot derrick barge, anchored to the river bottom by steel spuds; a crane barge with a 230-ton crane; a material barge; and a tugboat.

Remarkably, all work related to the cellular wall—all the pile drivers, crane operators, tugboat and barge drivers—is being done by Shimmick employees. This is especially commendable considering the variance of work required on the project. Shimmick is performing 83 percentage of the scope of work. The other 17 percent is being performed by subcontractors, focused on civil improvements on Dad’s Point, including landscaping and electrical controls.

Good luck to the team as they begin dredging operations to construct the cell wall that will meet the shore.