Case Study: RPS solutions renew popular event structures after Hurricane Harvey damage

Background — Beach pavilions required repair both for column decay and for extensive hurricane damage.

The two pavilions at Rockport Beach Park in Rockport, Texas, have been serving as popular rentals for large weddings, family anniversaries and other events for more than 30 years. The pavilions are elevated approximately 20’above the beach on concrete slabs and columns. Other structural features include CMU and wood roofs.

In 2016, the Rockport Navigation District assumed ownership of the park, and identified concrete deterioration to upper and lower columns due to inadequate maintenance and close proximity to salt water. The columns required repair for both cosmetic and structural reasons — without, however, disrupting preplanned events. This was phase one of our involvement with the pavilion work.

Phase 1: Column Decay Structural Damage

Phase two came about in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Because of the extent of the damage, the pavilions were structurally unsound and needed to be taken out of service until they were repaired. Governmental authorities deemed the pavilions essential to the local economy, so emergency money was granted to help fund the restoration.

Phase 2: Hurricane damage

Challenge — Repair and protect decayed concrete columns without disrupting pavilion business; repair more extensive structural damage to expedite restoration to service after Hurricane Harvey.

In phase one, the damage was a matter of long-term exposure to ocean air, so the solution needed to involve not merely restoring lost volume and strength to the columns, but protecting them from continuing exposure to corrosive elements.

In phase two, a wide range of repair solutions was needed to make the pavilions structurally sound and economically viable again.

Solution — Apply FX-70® repair and protection system to eroded columns; apply a variety of other Simpson Strong-Tie® concrete construction products to undo extensive hurricane damage.

Simpson Strong-Tie involvement in the phase-one work (column strengthening) resulted from a fortuitous cold call to the Navigation District from one of our local RPS representatives. Working with the Navigation District and an RPS contractor (Epoxy Design Systems) acquainted with the product, we identified eight columns in need of FX-70 application — enveloping the deteriorating member in fiberglass jackets filled with FX-70-6 and FX-225 repair grouts and sealed with FX-505 epoxy coating. The FX-70 solution was developed specifically for underwater repair of piles for docks and piers, but this job demonstrated that the system is also efficacious for column repair above water level.

Column Repair in Progress

After the wreckage of Hurricane Harvey, a local engineer who was familiar with our products worked with us on the design per the Navigation District’s request as the performance of the FX-70 jackets showed that were a viable solution. Simpson Strong-Tie RPS materials were recommended for all the repair and strengthening that the damage required.  Among other things, this included doweling rebar with SET-XP® anchoring adhesive; filling cracks with ETI-SLV epoxy; and applying CSS-CUCF11 code-listed unidirectional carbon fabric saturated with CSS-ES resin for structural reinforcement of weakened concrete surfaces.

Column wrapped with FRP

Results — Eight columns satisfactorily repaired and protected in two weeks; hurricane damage repair successfully completed in approximately two months.

Phase one was effectively completed in two weeks, without taking both pavilions out of service. Phase two was much more extensive and required about two months to complete. Both pavilions are back in service. You can see more photos of the successful repair below.

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