Port Construction Projects - Arc Surveying & Mapping, Inc.

Port Construction, Freeport Bahama Island

image of Port construction project in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island for Freeport Harbour Company


Freeport Harbour Company


Freeport, Grand Bahama Island


  • Experience in performing single-beam and multibeam hydrographic surveys
  • Laser Scanning Surveys
  • Combining bathymetric survey data with laser scanning data

Since 2010 Arc Surveying & Mapping, Inc. (Arc) has provided Freeport Harbour Company (FHC) with topographic and hydrographic surveying services in support of FHC port expansion projects. Freeport Harbour is located approximately 50 miles east of West Palm Beach Florida and is a trans-shipment facility, accepting the largest container ships in the world. The entrance channel and container berths are approximately 65 feet deep.

Safety and coordination with the Harbour Master, pilots, contractors and vessel operations is essential in Freeport due to constant berthing and traffic. An open berth is surveyed as soon as available and topographic surveys are performed during times convenient to container movement. In addition to topographic construction layout and as-built surveys, Arc has performed all hydrographic surveys for the port including pre and post dredge surveys.

In 2014 Arc performed a bathymetric and shoreline survey of the entire harbour, adhering to British Admiralty Charting Standards, for upgrading navigational charting and construction purposes. A fully equipped Arc survey vessel was transported to the island via ferry from West Palm Beach, Florida. Within 24 hours the survey vessel was offloaded, calibrated and ready to work utilizing a Reson 7101 multibeam swath sounder, a Riegl VZ 400 terrestrial laser scanner, an Applanix POS/MV and an RTK system for tidal measurements. Hysweep was used for equipment configuration, data collection and processing. Horizontal datum for Freeport is NAD83 UTM Zone 17 N. Vertical datum is MLW meters.

Freeport Harbour is a unique operation as the expansion is never ending. Bahama Rock Company drills, blasts and excavates the expansion areas utilizing mine-type draglines, shipping the road base quality material to the U.S. mainland. As a result of dragline excavation, the slopes in expansion areas are extremely irregular. In order to develop construction plans for container berth expansion, FHC contracted with Arc to survey the entire harbour including the seafloor and shoreline with close detail to slopes. The object of the detailed multibeam slope survey was to develop a plan to drive corrugated sheeting along the irregular slope and to grout between the sheeting and cavity prone slope, thereby stabilizing future berths.