The Ice Piers or Ice Breakers of New Castle were constructed from 1804 to 1882. They are a legacy of the days of wooden ships and were constructed, initially by public donations and subsequently by the U. S. Corps of Army Engineers, to protect the wooden hulls of ships from ice floes running up and down river with the tides. They were listed on the National Historic Register in 1982, and are recognized as perhaps the first national public works project. They are constructed of courses of granite on top of a submerged wooden platform supported by a rubble filled crib. They have survived for up to 200 years, the last 100 without maintenance. They are now being damaged by waves from ship traffic.
For more information about the ice breakers, click here.