Who We Serve

Structural Engineering

Bridge of Lions Historic Rehabilitation

Innovative design, historic preservation, and a shared commitment for community enhancement resulted in the roaring restoration of a national landmark – the iconic Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, Florida, the “Nation’s Oldest City.” The bridge, which opened in 1927, is prominent in nearly every skyline image of the city. In response to the bridge’s deterioration, the Florida Department of Transportation decided to rehabilitate the bridge rather than replace it as the best balance between the region’s transportation needs, public safety, and historic preservation.

The objective of the rehabilitation process was to preserve as much of the original bridge as possible. To accomplish this goal, RS&H designed an innovative interior steel framework and new foundation system hidden within the existing structure to strengthen it, improve safety, and bring the bridge to today’s current design standards. In addition, the team designed a 1,600-foot temporary bridge to maintain traffic throughout all five-and-a-half years of construction.

In 2010, the Bridge of Lions reopened to a parade of city officials, residents, and visitors. The project has preserved this national historic landmark for future generations and is a model for rehabilitating other aging infrastructure.

This project has also received the following award recognitions: 2011 National Recognition Award from the ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards, Award of Merit in the Reconstructed Category from the National Steel Bridge Alliance Prize Bridge Competition, and ranked Fourth in Roads & Bridges Top 10 Bridges of 2010.

Related Services:  Engineering | Sustainable Solutions

Cady Way Trail & Pedestrian Bridge

RS&H provided design and permitting services for Phase II of the Cady Way Trail in Orlando, Florida. This multi-use pedestrian trail is part of the Rails-to-Trails program in which abandoned railroad right-of-way is converted for public use. The project connected two existing portions of the trail and included two bridges: a 685-foot bridge over SR 436 and a 90-foot bridge over the Crane Strand Canal.

As its centerpiece, the trail also included a new pedestrian bridge over SR 436. Serving as a gateway to Orange County, the structure creates a dramatic visual statement and simultaneously blends with the variety of neighboring businesses. The thin elements of the basket-handle arch design resulted in a sleek, dramatic statement while still allowing those viewing the bridge to see the surrounding environment through the structure rather than creating a visual obstruction. 

Because of the numerous pressurized utilities near the bridge site, such as gas, potable water, sanitary sewer, and reclaimed water lines, the team used an innovative deep-pile foundation system versus shallow-spread footings, which safeguards against the potential loss of foundation materials should any of the pressurized utilities ever fail.

Related Services: Urban Design & Public Spaces

Corporate Hangar at Aurora Municipal Airport

A large international corporation with multiple flight facilities choose to consolidate their flight operations to a single location in the United States. After extensive investigation of site alternatives and economic incentives, Aurora Municipal Airport was chosen as the site for these operations.

RS&H was then retained to plan and design a new 270-foot by 140-foot clear span hangar to house three Gulfstream-V aircrafts. The program for the building included 15,500 square feet of offices and shops for the corporate flight department. The building structure was a preengineered metal building with precast concrete accent panels at the main entrance to the facility. Four 100-ton articulated cranes were used to erect the steel framed “supertruss” that spanned 270 feet over the hangar door. Under a restrictive budget, RS&H worked closely with the Owner and Construction Manager to incorporate Value Engineering opportunities to provide a unique building within budget and project schedule.

RS&H also assisted the airport owner in obtaining a state funding grant to complete the parking lot, ramp service drive and area security fencing, as well as provided engineering services for these facilities and the apron expansion.

VAB Hardening and New Hurricane Wind Load Upgrade

The Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) was built in the mid 1960s to process and assemble the Saturn V launch vehicles that were used in the Apollo Program. Now, the Space Shuttle is assembled and processed in the VAB. The future use for the VAB is to support the Crew Launch Vehicle and Cargo Launch Vehicle to support the Constellation/Exploration Program. RS&H’s task was to design the hardening and upgrade for new hurricane wind loads. The VAB siding sustained minor damage from an indirect hit from Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Studies were performed in 2002, which examined the wind resistance of the building and the condition of its various exterior components. As a result of those studies, design and construction projects were initiated to refurbish the VAB high bay doors and openings, the refurbishment of the exterior siding, and replacement of the translucent panels. Hurricane Frances in 2004 did more significant damage to the exterior siding and translucent panels, particularly on the south elevation of the high bay.

RS&H initially conducted field reconnaissance, site surveys, and site investigations to gain a comprehensive understanding of the existing conditions.

PDM Bridge Corporation Facility Expansion

RS&H provided full service architectural and engineering design of a 125,000-square-foot expansion to an existing 120,000-square-foot steel fabrication plant for PDM Bridge Corporation in Palatka, Florida.  

The project included a 110,000-square-foot heavy fabrication/painting facility and a 15,000-square-foot burn and splice shop. The heavy fabrication/painting facility included four 50-ton bridge cranes and a blast machine capable of sand blasting a 12-foot-tall by 110-foot-long steel girder. The burn and splice shop has provisions for a 25-ton bridge crane and accommodates a 20-foot-wide burn table for computer controlled cutting and splicing of steel plate.

Civil work included site layout, grading, stormwater management (including on-site detention ponds), site utilities, septic drain field, bituminous paving and stabilized laydown area.

Air Traffic Control Tower at Ocala International Airport

RS&H was retained by the City of Ocala for design and construction phase services for a new Air Traffic Control Tower at the Ocala International Airport. Services included:

  • Architectural rendering and design of the ATCT to meet local vernacular and establish a basis for future facility appearance
  • Structural, mechanical, electrical and site design of the ATCT
  • Specialized electrical facility design and coordination to meet FAA requirements
  • Site selection for the ATCT was the first ATCT under new siting procedures
  • Construction phase services

US 90 Bridge over St. Louis Bay

In August 2005, the Bay Saint Louis Bridge was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, severing a vital link between the towns of Pass Christian and Bay Saint Louis. As a major design subconsultant on the design-build team of Granite-Archer/Western, RS&H provided design and post-design services for the eastern portion of the new Bay Saint Louis Bridge. A four-lane, high-level prestressed concrete girder bridge set well above the storm surge levels was designed to replace the two-lane, low-level trestle bridge destroyed by this extraordinarily destructive hurricane.

The project’s aggressive schedule required the design team to complete the majority of the contract plans in only four months, a process that traditionally takes a minimum of one year for a project of this magnitude. As is always the nature of the design-build process, construction efforts began before the design phase was complete. As a result, the design team was required to provide design and post-design services simultaneously with ongoing construction in the field. Some of the post-design resolutions resulted in changes to bridge elements still under design.

Without the connection over St. Louis Bay, residents, commuters, and tourists of the local communities were forced to take a costly, time-consuming, and inconvenient 30 minute detour around the bay. One of the major overriding objectives of the design-build team was to reconnect the two communities as fast and as safely as possible. In an effort to speed the construction process, all piling, beams, and the majority of the pile bent caps were detailed and constructed as precast elements.

The new bridge was opened on May 17, 2007 to two lanes of traffic reuniting the two communities of Bay Saint Louis and Pass Christian, setting a record for the largest, fastest, continuously-sustained bridge reconstruction project in the United States.

Veterans Memorial Bridge

The Veterans Memorial Bridge, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is one of the largest design-build projects the Florida Department of Transportation awarded in 2009.  

RS&H completed the design on an accelerated schedule and submitted all permits 24 days after contract execution. The contract duration of the project would have lasted four years under the traditional design-bid-build delivery method. However, through design-build delivery, the team achieved released-for-construction plans in just nine months, greatly accelerating the project.

This 3,100-foot, high-level Category 2 bridge structure built within a highly sensitive environmental corridor will provide an important segment in the new connection between Florida’s Turnpike and US 1/SR 5. Once constructed, the bridge will ease congestion, speed emergency response times, and provide an alternative emergency evacuation route.

To support the public involvement efforts of the project, our team also developed bridge renderings and computer animation to build consensus among project stakeholders and the community.