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[on Maritime Engineering meena ooo coat yr fae! eee S recon ee a Cee a" Reinforced concrete caissons for po! F. Esteban Lefler and V. D. Rey Romero Reinforced concrete floating caissons are widely used for the construction of vertical brealewaters and gravity quay walls This paper describes the caisson construction ‘methods that are used most frequently in Spanish port structures, expecially casting on floating dry docks. Determining factors in the selection of caisson type for brealewaters rely on technical and economic considera- ‘dons. Environmental considerations emphasise the use of ‘aissons when compared to alternatives that require large quantiles of quarry stone materials such as rubble ‘mound breakwaters. The main limiting factors are high stresses induced on the sea floor and the presence of complex dynamle wave-structure-soll interaction phe- nomena. Generalisation In the application of sol provement éechniques in the sea floor will extend the application of floating reinforced concrete caissons to soft-soil areas, which are very common in Spanish ports. “There are also research programmes under development focusing on improving of the functional features of vertical wall structures, mainly determined by their high reflection. Technical and economic optimisation of ‘marine structures based on floating reinforced concrete ‘aissons is today an essential trend in the field of port structures in Spain, 1, PORT INFRASTRUCTURES WITH FLOATING CONCRETE CAISSONS. Reinforced concrete floating eaissons are mostly use for aravity structures, usually for berthing structures (quay walls) and breakwaters. This role of gravity structures involves scotechnical requirements! and limitations for their use 1m general, caisson quay walls (Figure 1) are the most cost fective gravity snictures for quay’ ells in eharves more than 101m deep. Alternative structural techniques for berthing gravity structures are concrete blocks or underwater concrete quay walls For the future, the mest important imitations fr this type are antilpated to ivolveseftlements (absolute and diferent), Foundation another allowable movements, because ofthe smaller tolerance allowances associated with hgh-peeformance cargo handling equipment and forthe automation of cargo ‘handing operations. This means that future design criteria wil be Dose on servlceabilty Timit states In many situations ‘Structural solutions that are alternatives to vertical ealsson breakwaters (Figure 2) forthe purpose of cost. comparison Include mound breakwaters, composite breakwaters or, cxcep- tionally, vertical breakwaters with deep foundations, such as sheet ple or pile cofferdams. Other types of vertical breakwaters such as blocks or on-site underwater concrete breakwaters are seldom constructed nowadays, partly because vertical break- waters are nt usually recommended for shallow wate. In adaltion to these traditional uses of Moating calssons some special uses are possible, One example Is the loating breakwater {or the Port of La Condamine, Monaco, built as a joint venture forme by the Spanish construction companies FCC Constraccin S.A. and Dragados. Figure 3 shows the single caisson breakwater being towed from the casting ste inthe Bay of Algeciras to Monaco. In anather example special calssons hhave been used asthe gravity piles ofthe bascule bridge in the Port of Tarragona (Figure 4), which was built by FCC CConstruccién S.A. In addition to ther cole as bridge piles, these calssons provide room for the operation equipment and ‘counterweights of the deck. 2. MANUFACTURE OF CAISSONS There are several altematives fr standard floating concrete calsson casting (a) casting in sipways or dry docks (0) casting on a submersible guided pontoon ar synchro-lif (@) casting on a floating dock, estamaran or selF-submersible pontoon type These technologies are usually applied in the constuction of standard renforeed concrete Moating clssons for breakwaters And quay walls, and sometimes for special calssons, such as the ove-mentioned piles for the Por of Tarragona bascule bridge. ‘The most frequent techniques in Spain are items (6) and (in the list above. Hoth have, asa common element, the use of siding olds, Floating docks with self-submersible pontoons are provided ‘with ase of ballast tanks (Figure 5), placed in the base pontoon and in the comer towers, Contolled Nooding ofthe tanks through the seawater intake brings naval stability and safety for all stages of the manocavre. The main difference between both techniques lies in the need of on-site evil works for the submersible pontoon or synchro-if, that require time, some Investment for each casting plant, and further demolition of ‘temporary facilities.