Area firm designed Charleston boat docks

CHARLESTON – It’s been more than five years in the making, but the new dock system at Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston is finally in use.

A Brooke County firm, American Muscle Docks and Fabrication near Wellsburg, designed the floating dock system as well as the handmade pile caps and flash used as accents.

Flash, a decorative way to dress up a dock system, was developed by AMDF. The company introduced the product in 2012 with a floating dock it had designed for Staffileno’s on the River.

CEO Luke DiSerio said the goal of the company was to tie the new dock system to the Charleston park’s theme by color-coordinating the Flash color and texture.

The piling caps also were designed to coordinate with the park’s sternwheeler theme.

“The most exciting part about this build,was simply to have the opportunity to have our product going into such a well known and beautiful area (and) being allowed to add our flair to the docks,” DiSerio said. “This allowed us, as a company, to think outside the box and design something new, as well as enhance the look of the area it is going into.”

DiSerio said AMDF’s Marc Hannah had worked with the park consultants since 2007 at the request of officials in Charleston.

“One of the amenities for the park, identified by city planning documents, was improved boating access,” he said, adding they were asked “to create a floating structure that complemented the design in place for the park and stage improvements.”

“We met multiple times during the next few years and developed a design for the docking system that included ADA access provisions, stationary walkways and aluminum gangways (and) met the needs of the city and the criteria for federal grants targeting transient boating facilities.”

He said the city was awarded a transient boating facility grant and eventually developed bid specs that included the docks in a larger contract.

“We received requests for prices from multiple contractors interested in bidding for the contract,” DiSerio said. “Amherst-Madison won the contract award and American Muscle Docks was picked to supply the docks. “

He said they subsequently met with Charleston City Engineer Chris Knox and his staff to review the final plans, then with Charleston City Manager David Molgaard.

“At (that) meeting, we introduced the options of adding hand-made pile caps and our new product, Flash. The city agreed to the upgrades and (added) the Flash and custom pile caps to the order (and) added lighting and electrical outlets in order to accommodate boaters’ power needs.”

He said the dock sections, gangways and stationary dock sections were constructed in 20- and 30-foot sections and shipped fully constructed to the Amherst-Madison facility in Charleston, where they were loaded onto a barge and transported to the park for installation.

He said more than 700 feet of floating docks and walkways was fabricated by AMDF.

“We appreciate all the parties involved during this project, and hope that they are satisfied with how it turned out,” he said. “We hope more boaters are able to visit the Haddad Park, as well as everyday pedestrians. Our hope is that the city will continue to add more docks, in order to make our capital city a well-known waterfront attraction. We as a state have something we take for granted (waterfront property) and we as a state should invest in our waterways in order to take advantage of what is in front of us.”