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NCLH's new Ward Cove cruise pier has environmental chops

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Sustainability was at the forefront of the Ward Cove project, Alicia Cuervo said
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said its newly developed double ship pier at Ward Cove, outside Ketchikan, transformed a superfund site into a sustainable, environmentally friendly facility.

'As with all our construction projects around the world, sustainability was at the forefront of the Ward Cove project,' said Alicia Cuervo, VP on-shore design, development and construction at NCLH. 'We integrated environmentally responsible practices throughout the project to effectively lower the carbon footprint of the site, ensured water quality during construction, recycled and reused existing materials and practiced effective waste mitigation and management.'

Recognized for environmental enhancement

Ward Cove has been recognized with the 2021 Associated General Contractors Construction Risk Partners Build America Merit Award for Environmental Enhancement.

NCLH has a 30-year preferential berthing agreement with Ward Cove Dock Group. The new pier can simultaneously accommodate two of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus class ships. 

Former pulp mill designated as EPA superfund site

The Ward Cove site included a former pulp mill and approximately 160 acres of coastal areas. The pulp mill operated from 1954 to 1997 and its closure, the site was designated for Environmental Protection Agency superfund cleanup. The EPA’s superfund program, established in 1980, is responsible for cleaning up some of the nation’s most contaminated land and focuses on making a visible and lasting difference in communities, ensuring that people can live and work in healthy, vibrant places.

NCLH, along with Ward Cove Dock Group and engineers from Turnagain Marine Construction, worked together to reimagine the site and construct the new pier including upland development. The project focused on the reuse of existing materials and, despite the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, continued on schedule and within budget.

Cuervo is a civil engineer who holds a port engineering masters certificate and certificates in project management and Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) construction. She sits on the board of the Green Advantage Organization, an American National Standards Institute-accredited global organization, and holds various sustainability certifications. Her team also has a LEED-licensed architect in house.

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