The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) awarded a design-build contract to American Bridge Corporation of Tampa, Fla., the contract to rebuild State Road 679 (the Pinellas Bayway) over the Intracoastal Waterway in Tierra Verde, Fla., near Tampa. The project will improve a vital connection and hurricane evacuation route for the community and for visitors to Fort De Soto Park.
American Bridge was tasked to design and construct a new two-lane, high-level, fixed-span bridge and
fender system on new alignment over the existing 500-foot-wide easement of the Intracoastal Waterway. This bridge was a replacement for the existing bascule bridge.
The work included associated roadway realignment, reconstruction and milling and resurfacing. It also included the demolition of the existing bridge, including scour countermeasures at piers and all of its components, after the new bridge is open to traffic. The contract called for A navigational clearance envelope under the new bridge at the existing navigational channel of not less than 65 feet high and 100 feet wide.
The installation of the fender system by American Bridge—which consists of round fiberglass pultruded hollow pilings and structural plastic lumber walers/walkway, supplied by Lee Composites, Inc. of The Woodlands, Tex., and designed by Garcia Bridge Engineers of Tallahassee, Fla.—has been broken into two phases. The first phase under the new bridge was to be completed on January 31, 2021, and the second phase, after the demolition of the existing bascule bridge, will begin in late 2021.
“The lower weight of these materials versus wood timbers and concrete has allowed for the use of smaller capacity equipment, smaller crew size and faster material management,” said Oscar Camacho, Project Engineer for American Bridge. “Aesthetics are another advantage of the Lee Composites composite/plastic lumber fender system, with much less visible deterioration, which translates to a longer reliable fender system.”
Republished from Marine Construction Magazine Issue II, 2021