Fluctuating tides, hurricanes, and state laws were three major considerations Thompson Engineering took into account for its one-of-a-kind, marine engineering design of the Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. Thompson was tasked with designing a water-based casino capable of withstanding daily tidal fluctuations and hurricane-force storm surge. The end product is the largest sea-anchored, semi-submersible barge structure in the world. Thompson’s offshore floating vessel arrangement allows the casino to float on the Mississippi Sound, while still being connected to the land-based resort hotel. The design was tested during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The casino was one of the only Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos left standing and the first to resume business following the storm.
The Beau Rivage appears to be a land-based structure, but it actually floats on five barges anchored by nine million pounds of structural steel piles. Thompson conducted initial and supplemental pile load testing programs and pile integrity tests (pile dynamic analysis) on more than 1,000 cast-in-place pilings throughout the development and construction phases of the projects. Development of the site involved the filling of 2.7 acres of water bottoms for landside development, the shading of 3.5 acres of water bottoms for the mooring of the casino vessel and the dredging of approximately 34,000 cubic yards of material.
Beau Rivage Marina
Thompson also designed the 31-slip Beau Rivage Marina. Using its marine engineering experience, Thompson developed an innovative design for the fixed platform structures and for a flow-through breakwater for the marina, which is crafted entirely of Brazilian hardwood.
Fallen Oak Golf Course
Thompson collaborated with renowned golf course designers from the Tom Fazio team to create Fallen Oak Golf Course, which is owned by Beau Rivage. Thompson provided multiple design services including geotechnical investigations; timber bridge crossings; roadway and parking area layout and lighting, site grading and drainage designs; potable water well designs; sanitary sewer system force main, pumping stations, septic tank and field line designs; and a 16,000 gallons-per-day packaged wastewater treatment plant. The course is consistently ranked on the top lists of Golf Week, Golf Digest and Golf Magazine.