Caisson Boston Delivery

The Steel America team launched the new Charlestown Naval Shipyard Drydock #1 Caisson  (“Caisson Boston”) on December 29, 2014. The shops had a big end of the year push to finish her ahead of schedule. Due to unforeseen weather conditions, she took a few extra days to get to the Boston Harbor. However, ultimately she arrived safely at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, MA thanks to the dedicated work by Intracoastal Marine, Inc. She will be used to hold back the Boston Harbor while specialized maintenance teams overhaul the USS Constitution.

Project Manager, Rick Hudgins said,

“The project management office would like to thank all of the Steel America team and the subcontractors involved for their diligent effort on the construction of Caisson Boston. Due to everyone’s commitment to this project, we delivered the Caisson to the Charlestown Navy Yard in time to support the scheduled dry-docking of the USS Constitution. Hats off to all involved.”

The Steel America team is grateful to be given the opportunity to build this historic landmark.

The Steel America team has now also delivered the Norfolk Naval Shipyard Drydock #1 Caisson (“Caisson Norfolk”). She was christened and set in the water on January 22nd, 2015.

Caisson Boston delivery - Steel America

See the video below from the Official USS Constitution Museum vimeo account of the installation/floating of the new Charlestown Naval Shipyard Drydock #1 Caisson  (“Caisson Boston”) :


Additional Resources


Steel America is a custom steel fabrication shop and large scale machining service provider with complex mechanical and electrical capabilities. It has a unique ability to fabrication heavy, high-cube structures, up to 1,000 metric tons in modular form, for delivery by barge directly from the shop to waterborne project locations. (Read more)

Caisson Boston

The Steel America fabrication shop is making huge milestones this quarter; one being the laying of the keel plate for Caisson #1 for the Charlestown Navy Yard. While all projects are special to Steel America, Caisson Boston is an especially exciting contract for the Steel America team. Not only is Steel America the prime contractor for the project, but this project is for Dry Dock One (DD1) at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, Massachusetts- the home of the USS Constitution.

Dry Dock One is one of the first two dry docks in the United States and is a historical landmark at one end of the Boston Freedom Trail. DD1 has an overall dimension of 341ft x 100ft and serves as a safe haven for the USS Constitution which has been identified as a potential terrorist target and is especially vulnerable to water-borne attacks.

USS Constitution Museum:

The caisson, a large floating gate, seals Dry Dock 1 from Boston Harbor. The original built in 1833 was made of wood. In 1902, it was replaced with a steel caisson, which was the first steel hull constructed in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The second caisson remained in use until 2015, when a new one manufactured in Norfolk, VA by Steel America was installed in preparation for USS Constitution‘s current restoration.

Dry Dock 1 in the Charlestown Navy Yard and its companion dock in Gosport, VA were the first two public dry docks built in the United States. Both docks were built between 1827 and 1833 and were considered engineering marvels at the time.

Additional Resources