Featured Project

Downtown Stockton Marina and Joan Darrah Promenade Design/Build Project

City of Stockton Revitalization Department


Kjeldsen, Sinnock & Neudeck, Inc. (KSN) teamed with Power Engineering Contractors Inc. to deliver the Downtown Stockton Marina and Joan Darrah Promenade (Project) under a design-build contract with the City of Stockton’s Revitalization Department. The Project is the centerpiece of the City’s plan to redevelop Stockton’s historic waterfront. The Project included a 66 berth covered marina that can accommodate boats up to 80 feet in length; three guest docks; a 6,500 foot long landscaped pedestrian promenade providing public access to the water’s edge; a marina support building and public restroom; public parking areas; and extensive public art. The completed Project provides Stockton’s residents and visitors with unrestricted and continuous access to the north, east and south banks of the Stockton Channel. Located in the heart of downtown Stockton, the Project is easily seen from the elevated portion of Interstate 5 over the Stockton Channel.

As the civil engineering and surveying consultant for the Downtown Stockton Marina and Joan Darrah Promenade Project, KSN was responsible for the design and documentation of all site improvements landward of the existing seawall. KSN kicked off the Project by providing topographic and bathymetric surveys, and right of way documents. During the design phase, KSN prepared the project documents for the civil landward site improvements. KSN coordinated extensively with the waterside improvements designers to successfully integrate the landside improvements with the docks. KSN concluded the project by providing support services during construction of the Project, such as construction staking for both landside and waterside improvements, including over-water construction locations for the piles that now secure the docks. KSN’s experience completing prior projects along the waterfront and KSN’s familiarity with local conditions, design standards, utility contacts and public agency expectations made KSN an invaluable resource to the design-build team and essential to the outstanding success of the Project.

Maintaining and preserving water quality was a particularly important design consideration on the Downtown Stockton Marina and Joan Darrah Promenade Project, which, being located at the head of the Stockton Channel, is situated on a waterway well known for its very poor water circulation and no natural flows to flush sediment and pollutants carried by runoff, downstream. The proper management and pretreatment of storm runoff from the Project was identified early in the design process as a critical element of the Project. KSN designed the grading of the site and the drainage system in such a way that there is no direct discharge of storm runoff to the Stockton Channel. The promenade is sloped away from the seawall, and permeable pavers are used extensively in the promenade to allow as much runoff as possible to percolate into the soil. Excess runoff from the promenade and runoff from parking areas is treated by several Filterra bio-retention systems which utilize a combination of landscape vegetation and a specially designed filter media to naturally remove bacteria, metals, nutrients, and total suspended solids. These passive treatment methods allow the Project to meet the City of Stockton’s stringent storm water quality standards while minimizing the maintenance requirements.

The project site also included an active hazardous materials remediation site that required special consideration during the design of the underground utilities for the Project. The alignment and profile of the new utilities were carefully designed to avoid intersecting the defined areas of contamination.

The Project schedule was limited by the strict deadlines of the grants and loans secured by the City to fund the Project, and was further complicated by the work windows dictated by State and Federal permits for in water construction, which were necessary to minimize impacts to special status fish species known to frequent the Stockton Channel. In order to meet these schedule constraints, the entire project had to be designed, permitted, and approved within five months. The design-build team and the City held bi-weekly meetings during the design phase, to monitor the progress of the design and to address issues that arose during the development of the Project. Focus meetings were held as necessary, to discuss and resolve specific design issues.

Many public art features were incorporated into the Project as a result of a city ordinance requiring that 2% of all public works construction budgets be set aside for public art. In addition to two freestanding kinetic sculpture installations at the Project’s main plazas, many other art pieces were incorporated directly into components of the Project, such as street node markers, tree well covers, medallions in the hardscape, security camera covers, stair railings, bicycle racks, seating benches, marina gate finials, trash receptacles, and fabric light post banners.
The City’s goal to build the best possible waterfront project with services found in high end marinas was accomplished through a design-build contract with a design team that coordinated exceptionally well to bring this unique project to completion on schedule and within budget. The Downtown Stockton Marina and Joan Darrah Promenade Design-Build Project officially opened in October 2009, and the total construction cost was approximately $22,000,000. The Project demonstrates how a comprehensive project team, uniting the engineer, client, and contractor from the beginning of a project, can successfully deliver a unique and complex project under an extremely limiting schedule. This Project is one that the City of Stockton can truly be proud of, and will serve the community for many years to come.

The Downtown Stockton Marina and Joan Darrah Promenade Design-Build earned KSN a Merit Award in the Design/Build Category in the American Council of Engineering Companies' California Engineering Excellence Awards. The Project also received an AIA Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects.