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IP Casino dry dock wins award

MARY PEREZ/SUN HERALD 
 The IP Casino Resort barge, the low building at the center of the picture, before it was raised and placed on steel and concrete piers to make it easier to maintain and extend the structure's life by as much as 40 years. The project won a national award for its engineering.
MARY PEREZ/SUN HERALD The IP Casino Resort barge, the low building at the center of the picture, before it was raised and placed on steel and concrete piers to make it easier to maintain and extend the structure's life by as much as 40 years. The project won a national award for its engineering.

The massive dry dock at IP Casino Biloxi, built in 2014 to enhance the property's structural stability, was honored as 2015's Best Specialty Construction Project by the Engineering News-Record.

More than 100 entries across the country were submitted for the award presented by the publication that provides engineering and construction news to construction industry professionals across the country.

Construction on the $45 million project began in 2014, with 14,000 cubic yards of concrete poured underwater to create an eight-foot-thick slab for the casino barge to rest on. Creating the concrete base, which goes as far down as 16.5 feet below sea level, required a record-setting underwater concrete pour.

It took 21 consecutive days of non-stop pouring to create the slab. The completed dock is 200 feet wide and 700 feet long and stabilizes the IP's barge to an almost land-based extent. This will reduce future maintenance costs and make hull repairs easier to perform.

The project was based on the conceptual design of Ron Frye, vice president of design and construction for Boyd Gaming.

One judge said the project had challenges that required innovative design and construction solutions, since much of the work was done underwater and with zero visibility -- and without disrupting casino operations.

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