PRESS RELEASE: Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Repair to National Historical Pier 3 Nearing Completion


Valentine Corporation is completing $15 Million Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Repair to National Historical Pier 3 in the Embarcadero Waterfront Historical District, San Francisco.

Job: Pier 3 Structure Repairs
Owner: Hornblower Cruises and Events (Completing work for the Port of San Francisco)
Location: Pier 3, San Francisco
Start Date: October 2013 to Ongoing

Many of the historic finger piers along the San Francisco waterfront are nearing the end of their useful life. The sub-structures that hold up the piers – made from concrete, rebar and timber – have been exposed to (in many cases) over one hundred years of sea water corrosion and tidal activity. While some historic piers have been lost forever, others are being repaired and restored for many decades of future use. One such repair project is happening at Pier 3 just west of the Ferry Building, where Hornblower Cruises and Events (HCE) has undertaken a project to repair this historic pier for its passenger excursion operation in San Francisco. The Pier 3 repair project represents one of the largest substructure repairs of the San Francisco Piers to date. HCE is the largest excursion and ferry operator in North America with services in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, New York and Niagara Falls (

Valentine Corporation is nearing completion of a two year project to repair portions of the substructure on Pier 3. Valentine, a structural concrete and marine construction specialist headquartered in San Rafael, California, has been in operation in the Bay Area for 52 years, completing many wharf, pier repair and pier replacement projects on San Francisco Bay. For the Pier 3 project, Valentine has utilized a groundbreaking/innovative system for structural concrete repair known as Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) . The FRP system offers significant ease and flexibility of installation over steel and other repair options, and can be adapted to each specific location. At Pier 3, the specially designed FRP solution not only encases the structure it also increases shear, flexural, and axial strengths of structural members and improves seismic performance. In addition, the FRP materials are ICC-ES approved, are environmentally friendly, low VOC, NSF approved, and have UL-approved fire-resistant finishes available. Pier 3 is on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the Embarcadero Waterfront Historic District. As a result, all repairs had to be found to be consistent with the Secretary of Interior Guidelines and not conflict with the design integrity of the pier. Pier 3 is the home port for the Northern California fleet of passenger excursion vessels – M/V California, M/V Spirit, M/V San Francisco Belle, and its corporate office on the historic Santa Rosa ferryboat.

Joe Wyman with Hornblower Crusies and Events remarked “Valentine was brought on to the job as a subcontractor ……after the original subcontractor bowed out. It was quickly evident that the crew from Valentine knew how the work should be scheduled to be more efficient and quickly implemented.

Valentine's on site management was always very responsive to any requests from the Hornblower crew to minimize the impacts of their work on the on-going use of Pier 3 as an excursion vessel terminal. Hornblower continued to operate its three (3) largest excursion vessels from Pier 3 throughout all phases of construction by Valentine. On-going operations at the Pier indicate that over 175,000 passengers enjoyed Hornblower while Valentine worked on the pier.

Valentine has always shown great flexibility and innovative solutions for the various deteriorated conditions on the Pier. Work entailed concrete restoration on 80,000 SF on a pier that is on the National Register of Historic places. Restoration work focused on removal of deteriorated concrete and rebar and rebuilding the substructure elements. A composite wrap was also used to strengthen and restore the load carrying capability of the Pier. “

The result is a renewed Pier 3, the repaired areas of the substructure are impervious to sea water damage and further corrosion.

The major components of this project consist of repairing more than 500 piles (out of 987), 16,000 SF of deck (soffit) repair (out of 80,000 SF), 4800 LF of girder repair (out of 6804 LF), and 4500 LF of beam repair (out of 87750 LF). All of this work was and is being completed during low tides on a project specific scaffolding system under Pier 3.