US Navy


Curtis Bay, MD




Nova’s Ship Handling Facility project provided the U.S. Coast Guard with the largest Syncrolift ship lift facility in the continental United States. The facility replaced an existing floating dry dock that had been in service for the past 56 years, and provided the Curtis Bay Coast Guard yard with the flexibility to work on up to five ships at any one time. The project was built in two phases: (a) construction of two finger piers, 340 feet in length, and marginal wharf which supports the 24 Syncrolift winch assemblies with a total lift capacity of 5,310 tons; and (b) construction of a 90’ x 400’ transfer deck to receive and position the ships, requiring complex heavy mechanical and electrical support systems.

During construction of the finger piers and marginal wharf. Nova manufactured 450 precast prestressed concrete 20” square support piles, and subcontracted the water-based pile driving to a local contractor. Nova constructed the pile cap system using its own composite-forming system, and performed the concrete construction with its own forces. The electrical and mechanical support systems for the Syncrolift winches were pre-placed in the concrete, and winch placement tolerances were critical to the functionality of the system. The entire finger piers and marginal wharf consumed 4,000 CY of concrete. The finger pier structure was designed and built to accommodate ships up to 325 feet in length.

The transfer deck phase of the construction consisted of placing 450 12” auger cast support piles and the placement of 4,000 CY of concrete. The transfer deck mechanical and electrical systems included electrical power, compressed air, potable water, sewer, salt water, and cutting gas. All of these systems connected to six hotel stands located throughout the transfer deck. Nova also installed two new 12 kV electrical distribution systems including switchgear.



Nova Group, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.