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Boston Duck Tours

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In 2010, Anthony Cerulle of Boston Duck Tours had an urgent need to expand his rapidly growing business. The goal was to house more “Duck Boats,” which was not an easy feat in the heart of Boston where space is at a premium. After they acquired eight additional boats, the idea of expanding their building became a necessity. Already having a working relationship with TRI Construction for previous years of building service and fit-out work, Duck Tours approached our team for guidance and direction in their overwhelming demand for more space.

TRI Construction entered into a contract and began the conceptual phase, putting together a strong, fluid, and resourceful team to help make the project come to life. Boston Duck Tours required a 2,500 square foot building to store the additional eight duck boats. The planning, design, and scheduling was a difficult task in itself – attempting to design a 2,500 square foot building on 4,000 square feet of space in the City of Boston.

TRI Construction had to incorporate building materials and the pre-existing design of their existing structure, merging the old into the new to create a single structure that was aesthetically and functionally correct. After initial test borings of the site conditions for load bearing purposes, they were found inadequate for construction. TRI Construction increased their project team to include both soil and structural engineers, who had to redesign the project’s foundation to be supported by wooden piles driven 70-feet into the ground for a suitable sub-surface bearing. After the wooden piles were installed, the foundation included structural grade beams and a structural concrete slab.

As a certified metal building installer, TRI Construction erected a metal building that tied into the existing structure seamlessly. False roofing was added to make the connections fit and to make the building more efficient and useful. A 34-foot mechanically-driven garage door was another engineering and construction feat that our team was able to provide to the client and deliver, making the parking of the new ducks even more manageable. The 2,500 square foot metal building provides parking for eight duck boats, additional storage, and an office mezzanine was installed a few years after the initial project by TRI Construction.

More Information

The Boston Duck Tours project was an addition to the existing building, and it was completed with metal construction for a commercial application. The scope of work included the relocation of underground utilities, the removal of the parking lot, reinforcement of concrete pile caps, grade beam foundation, and structural reinforced concrete slab.

The challenges of this particular project included a compressed time frame, proximity to the existing building and adjacent buildings, as well as winter weather.

General Contractor: TRI Construction

  • Supervision of entire project
  • Excavation
  • Utilities
  • Slab

Geotechnical & Structural Engineering: Dick Pizzi

  • Designed piles, pile caps, structural slab
  • Oversaw installation of piles and all structural work
  • Preformed material testing on site

Pile Driving: Monponset Pile Driving

  • Installed timber piles

Civil Engineering & Surveying: Jim Decelle

  • Designed site plans
  • Constructed as-built drawings

The Boston Duck Tours project was exciting and challenging. TRI Construction broke ground at the end of December, once they concluded their season. With the use of ground heaters and insulating blankets, we were able to work on daily excavating, dewatering, and placing concrete, in spite of the winter weather. We paved the parking lot a few days of schedule, so the duck boats were able to pull out of the existing building through the new addition to participate in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.


Project Components:

Owner: Boston Duck Tours LP.
Location: Dorchester, MA
Project Value: $910,000.00
Site Drawings: DeCelle Group
Architect: Anthony DiFrancisco
Engineer Firm: Geotechnical Consultants Inc.
Project Schedule: 6 Months