innovative infrastructure for protected coastal environments

Breakwater beach Project

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Finding a solution for regulatory challenges

In the prestigious Breakwater Beach Community of North Bethany, Delaware, a remarkable engineering achievement has transformed the landscape and made accessible premier residential land previously hindered by environmental and regulatory challenges. York Bridge Concepts (YBC) played a pivotal role in this transformation, creating a unique timber structure that serves multiple functional purposes while enhancing the local architectural aesthetic. This case study explores the complex twelve-year journey of the Breakwater Beach project from conception through completion, highlighting YBC’s innovative solutions and enduring commitment to excellence.

The Challenge

Environmental Sensitivity

Nestled within a coastal enclave, the Breakwater Beach Community is known for its scenic views and high-value properties. However, the development of this area faced significant hurdles due to stringent environmental protections and the complex permitting processes required by the Army Corps of Engineers. The primary challenge was accessing residential lot acreage that standard development methods could not address without impacting the sensitive wetland ecosystem surrounding the site.

Developers and planners needed a solution that would provide access without compromising the environmental integrity of the area. Traditional construction methods were not feasible, prompting the search for an innovative approach that would meet regulatory standards and community expectations.

York Bridge Concepts' Innovative Approach

York Bridge Concepts was brought into the project to devise a construction solution that could overcome the regulatory and environmental obstacles. Leveraging their expertise in timber bridge construction and environmentally conscious engineering, YBC proposed a comprehensive plan centered around a 100% pile-supported timber structure.

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Image courtesy of LC Homes

design & Planning

designing infrastructure to preserve local ecology

The Decero Design team at YBC developed a unique design for a double lane drive aisle, cul-de-sac, and eight double car width private residential driveways, integrated with divided pedestrian walkways. This design not only provided the necessary infrastructure for vehicle and pedestrian access but also preserved the visual and ecological characteristics of the community.

Breakwater Beach timber bridge project in North Bethany, DE by York Bridge Concepts.

Key Features Of the project

Vehicular Structure

Over twenty thousand square feet of driving surface capable of handling residential traffic while blending seamlessly with the local architectural styles.

Pedestrian Safety

A traditional timber picket pedestrian rail with vehicular-rated impact curbing ensured safety and aesthetic continuity.

Environmental Consideration

The design was formulated to be 100% pile-supported, minimizing direct impact on the wetlands. The structure was constructed at deck level, reducing disruption to the wetland ecosystem below.

The Process

excellence in Environmental Bridge Construction

YBC’s construction team executed the project with precision and innovation. Over 700 piles were driven into the ground using friction set installation methods, which included YBC’s proprietary vibratory hammer and splicing techniques. This foundation supported the substantial structure and was designed to provide a 75-year design lifespan, ensuring long-term stability and minimal maintenance.

The final structure, standing just 3 feet above the ground, harmonized with the surrounding wetland grasses, maintaining the area's natural aesthetics while providing robust infrastructure. This careful balance of functionality and environmental stewardship was a cornerstone of YBC's project execution.

Outcomes & environmental benefits

Advantages of The Breakwater Beach Timber Vehicular Bridge Project

The completion of the Breakwater Beach project marked a significant achievement in engineering and environmental design. The innovative approach taken by York Bridge Concepts not only resolved the access issues but did so in a manner that respected and preserved the local ecosystem. Residents of the community now enjoy seamless access to their homes, with the added benefit of scenic views of both the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River Bay.

The project serves as a benchmark in the field of environmental engineering and sustainable development, showcasing how complex challenges can be met with innovative, thoughtful designs and meticulous execution.

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the results

A Creative Solution

York Bridge Concepts' involvement in the Breakwater Beach project exemplifies their commitment to engineering excellence and environmental responsibility. The project's success underscores the importance of innovative thinking in overcoming developmental challenges and sets a high standard for future projects in environmentally sensitive areas. As we move forward, the Breakwater Beach project remains a prime example of how thoughtful engineering can create sustainable, beneficial outcomes for communities and ecosystems alike.

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Discover the intersection of strength, durability, and environmental responsibility with York Bridge Concepts. Let's build a bridge to the future together.