Public landings, marinas, boat ramps, and mooring fields provide much needed public boating access to the water. Commercial fishermen and tour boats often utilize the same harbors and planning and layout for safe use is critical. The harbor is often a vital component to waterfront cities and towns for economic development and recreation. GEI provides planning, permitting, project management, design, and construction administration services for these facilities.


Project Types


Layout and planning are crucial to the successful operation of these facilities. Maximizing the number of slips while maintaining safe operations is a key requirement.  GEI understands the needs of these facilities and provides services for large, small, private, and commercial marinas.  GEI can design to incorporate utilities, ADA compliance, and wave barriers or wave attenuators.  We also offer services to address the unique challenges of designing, maintaining, protecting, and repairing fueling docks. Our services include inspections, design and planning, permitting, project management, and construction administration services.

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Boat Ramps

Boat ramps provide small vessel access to the water. GEI delivers all aspects of engineering services for boat ramp design and rehabilitation including site investigation, design, permitting, public bidding and construction documents, and construction oversight services. Our designs evaluate the intended use and range of vessels for the ramp and we work with our clients to develop and execute designs that comply with ADA requirements, are designed for constructability, and fit within established budgets.

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Mooring Fields

GEI works with owners to plan, design, and permit mooring fields.  There are often constraints imposed by use of existing mooring equipment and mooring service companies which can be incorporated in the layouts. We can also assist with replacement and upgrade of mooring equipment to reduce environmental impact as opportunities present.

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Harbor Planning

Small craft harbors are often mixed-use with commercial fishing vessels operating alongside recreational vessel facilities such as public landings, boat ramps, marinas, and services such as fueling.  GEI understands the many operations often have conflicting needs and can help to develop safe facilities and layouts.

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Dredging small craft harbors is essential to maintain full use and function.  Cost effective management of dredged material and the complex regulatory requirements are the key challenges for these projects.  We are familiar with the many issues associated with dredging design, sediment testing, and permitting for this work.  GEI offers hydrographic survey, inspection, environmental services, design, and construction oversight to support dredging projects.

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Key Services

Inspection and Assessment

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GEI’s team of engineer divers specialize in waterfront structural engineering and design. We provide facility inspection and assessments which include above water and underwater structural inspections, underwater still and video photography, material testing, definition of necessary repairs and estimation of remaining life. Our divers are all certified for FHWA – NHI Underwater Bridge Inspection. Our services include:

  • Emergency Response Assessments.
  • Above and Underwater Assessments of Structural Elements.
  • Engineering Assessment of Facility Life Expectancy.
  • Determination of Fender and Mooring System Adequacy.
  • Determination of Alternatives for Restoration or Improvement.
  • Documentation and Rating of Current Conditions.
  • Providing Program for 5-year Monitoring/Assessment with Recommendations for Maintenance and Repair.

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GEI routinely assists clients with planning and feasibility studies. Our staff specialize in waterfront projects and understand the many constraints and considerations which impact the feasibility of a project including: design loadings, vessel operation criteria, environmental impacts and regulations, permitting requirements, constructability, and cost estimation. We understand the physical impacts such as waves, currents, scour, erosion, sediment transport, and siltation which affect the viability and durability of any waterfront project. Because our staff specialize in waterfront and coastal engineering, we can provide realistic designs and accurate estimates of construction costs. We have performed these services for many different clients and a wide range of facilities including:

  • Container Terminals.
  • Oil Terminals.
  • Municipal Fishing Piers.
  • Ferry Landings.
  • Marinas.
  • Seawall Reconstruction and Improvement.
Marina Layout

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GEI offers a wide range of services relating to marina planning, design, and maintenance including siting, planning, economics, wave and wake analysis, layout, and dredging. Our design capabilities include floating docks and their moorings, wave attenuators, bulkheads, piers, gangways, boat lift foundations, boat ramps, utilities, and fueling docks.

Wave Attenuators

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Wave attenuation may be achieved by a number of different approaches including filled breakwaters, fixed wave fences and wave barriers, and floating wave attenuators. A sound understanding of the wave environment is critical to the success of any wave attenuation project and GEI can provide wave analysis to meet those needs. Because of their nature, any wave attenuation structure is usually situated in a higher energy environment and GEI can provide the analysis required to determine wave loads and the effectiveness of the barrier. GEI has provided designs for a wide range of successful projects including pile supported wave barriers, floating attenuators, and pier mounted wave fences.

Boat Ramp Design
ADA Compliant Design

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Waterfront facilities need to be designed for compliance with ADA regulations. Although any new design has to be ADA compliant, ADA regulations have special requirements relating to passenger vessel terminals and ferry landings, marinas, boat ramps, and fishing piers. Many of these facilities require specialized design to meet the requirements through the full tidal range. GEI has designed ferry landings for passenger vessel access for tidal ranges in excess of 12 feet.
GEI engineers routinely incorporate these requirements when appropriate and can offer an innovative approach to help clients navigate the complex constraints.

Hydrographic Survey

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GEI offers in-house hydrographic (bathymetric) surveys to support our clients whether it be a berth survey, dredge payment survey, or existing conditions survey for planning and design. GEI can provide single-beam hydrographic, multi-beam hydrographic, and side scan sonar surveys to achieve the needs of the client in an efficient manner. Utilizing the data of the hydrographic surveys, GEI can create 3D dredge prisms, color banded comparison surfaces, and perform detailed volumetric analysis for dredging. GEI’s single beam surveys provide an economical approach for shallow depth surveys. Multibeam and side scan sonar provide in-depth mapping of the seafloor and can provide 3D modeling of underwater obstructions or debris.

Dredging Design

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Dredging projects present a unique set of challenges for planning, design, permitting, and material disposal. GEI’s knowledge of the requirements helps our clients to navigate this complex process. The biggest challenge for most dredging projects is cost-effective disposal of the dredged material. We have experience completing projects requiring CAD Cell disposal, offshore disposal, upland disposal, and beach nourishment. GEI’s in-house expertise includes a large group of environmental engineers to assist with contaminated site remediation. We offer hydrographic surveys, dredge material sampling and testing, feasibility analysis, assessment of alternative disposal options, design, permitting, and bid and construction phase support.


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