The world’s largest floating dock
Built for the Principality of Monaco, this is the largest floating seawall in the world, and its job is to enlarge La Condamine Harbour.
This infrastructure provides a place to dock for cruise liners of up to 200 metres in length.
The size of the job is nothing less than spectacular. The concrete seawall is 350 metres long, 28 metres wide and 25 metres tall. Once installed at its site, the seawall floats in the water, anchored to the sea bottom 50 to 80 metres below and held in place by chains attached to metal pilings driven into the sea floor. The seawall is connected to land by a gigantic 650-ton, 2.5-metre-diameter metal ball-and-socket joint.
The seawall weights 165,000 tons, and from the marine point of view it constitutes a double-hulled concrete ship. The space inside has been equipped to house four storeys of parking facilities capable of holding 380 vehicles and boat storage facilities.
For the first time in the history of engineering, the seawall was built entirely in drydock, at Algeciras Bay. It was put afloat and transported to its site in Monaco for completion of the anchoring operations and grounding through the ball-and-socket joint. The distance between Algeciras and Monaco is 816 nautical miles (1,500 km), equivalent to a 12-day crossing.