Featured Member: Moffatt & Nichol

  • by BPC Staff
  • on August 3, 2017

San Francisco, California, July 28, 2017 – Moffatt & Nichol continues to shape the future of the Bay Area and beyond by designing resilient coastal communities in San Francisco, increasing the region’s resiliency against flooding and seismic damage, and restoring former tidelands to nature. Some of the firm’s recent projects include flood protection and new ferry infrastructure at Treasure Island that is under construction, wetlands restoration and flood protection at Bel Marin Keys, seismic retrofit of the BART Transbay Tube, and resiliency of SFO Airport to sea level rise.
As established communities in the region are outliving the infrastructure built around them, and there is a fundamental shift from the concept of sustainability to sustainable + resilient design, the Bay Area is seeing a resurgence of its waterfront. The firm has been instrumental in key redevelopment projects including Hunters Point, Mission Rock, and Pier 70, and the rehabilitation of Port of San Francisco’s piers.


Known as the premier port, coastal, maritime, and waterfront engineering firm in the nation, the firm’s mission is best exemplified in its President’s quote “We don’t want to be the biggest – we enjoy what we do and want to be the best at creating infrastructure that makes people’s lives better”. Their staff have crafted creative and practical strategies for New York’s post-Sandy rebuilding and resiliency efforts by designing rapidly deployable surge barriers, led a team that was selected as a finalist for the Beach Outfalls Challenge to keep bacteria out of the Mississippi Sound, and designed a railroad trench for southern California Ports to eliminate tens of risky at-grade crossings.


One of the highest visibility local projects was the redevelopment of Treasure Island. M&N’s shoreline improvement concepts provided the ability of flood protection to respond to future changes in sea level while maintaining public access to the Bay. The strategy was prepared based on a combination of the best available SLR science, site-specific flooding studies, and project design life. The SLR strategy pioneered for the project has become a model for the Bay Area; it received national attention when it was awarded the Governor’s Award for Environmental and Economic Leadership in Sustainable Communities, and several aspects of it have become a template for other coastal infrastructure and developments in regional planning documents. It is best known for being one that combines the most relevant science, forward thinking, practical engineering, and adaptations that are self-funded by the project.
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