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SR 408/SR 417 Interchange Improvements

The SR 408/SR 417 interchange is one of the largest and most heavily traveled interchanges linking northeast Orlando and downtown. The interchange suffered severe congestion during peak travel times and was confusing to motorists. To address these issues and improve regional mobility, the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority (OOCEA) contracted with RS&H to design a true system-to-system interchange.  

Improvements to the interchange included widening SR 408 from six to eight lanes and adding a new two-lane ramp from southbound SR 417 to westbound SR 408, as well as from eastbound SR 408 to northbound SR 417. Also included are two long bridges, a 1,600-foot-long complex steel box girder flyover, and a curved prestressed concrete beam bridge.  

The interchange features numerous innovations, including five overhead signs that meet newly adopted guidelines in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Tourists visiting Central Florida’s attraction will benefit from these massive signs, which are some of the first in the state. In addition, nearly 13,000 linear feet of noise barriers were installed, including the first transparent bridge-mounted noise barriers in Florida.  

The highly complex interchange improvements were successfully completed ahead of schedule while maintaining the interchange flow of 97,000 vehicles per day on SR 408 and 74,000 vehicles per day on SR 417.

Related Services:  Engineering

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.

Related Services: Visualization | Design-Build

Overland Bridge Replacement

RS&H is serving as the prime design consultant in Northeast Florida’s most significant and largest design-build project – the replacement of Overland Bridge over the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville.  The project will add capacity, increase mobility, and improve safety along 2.56 miles of the city’s most heavily travelled section of I-95, which also serves as a main hurricane evacuation route.  

During the pre-award development phase, RS&H used the Alternative Technical Concept process to implement several innovations that enhanced the project scope, increased sustainability, and minimized the project schedule without compromising quality.  

After the project was awarded, the team continued to collaborate with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and other stakeholders on additional innovations that ultimately saved FDOT approximately $30 million in right-of-way costs and $1 million in utility reimbursement expenses.  The team also assisted FDOT in building consensus through public involvement.

Overland video play

Related Services: Visualization | Design-Build

Topsail Island Bridge Replacement

The Topsail Island Bridge in North Carolina is one of only two bridges linking the popular vacation island to the mainland and is the primary access road for residents of Surf City and South Topsail Beach. The existing two-lane swing span bridge, originally constructed in the 1950s, spans the Intracoastal Waterway and received a low sufficiency rating in 2006.

RS&H prepared an Environmental Assessment document and is providing planning and design services for the bridge’s replacement. The team studied impacts on the constraining physical and environmental features adjacent to the site and developed 20 alternative alignments for replacement, including an in-place replacement, a no-build option, and moving the bridge to the north or south. The team also considered two types of structures: a bascule span bridge and a high-rise span bridge. The historic bridge will be replaced with a non-movable, high-span structure.

RS&H helped coordinate public involvement throughout the planning process, including public meetings, newsletters, mailings, websites, phone hotlines, steering committee meetings, public official involvement, and stakeholder meetings. The information campaign also included community education on bridge types and corresponding aesthetics. RS&H also utilized design visualization tools as an instrumental part of this educational process.

Below is the animation of the proposed design of the new bridge.

Topsail video

Related Services: Visualization | Environmental | Planning

Mathews Bridge Emergency Repairs

On September 26, 2013, a U.S. Naval ship being towed to the North Florida Shipyard struck the superstructure of Mathews Bridge in Jacksonville, Florida. The impact severed the bridge’s north lower truss chord on impact, compromising the geometry and stability of the steel bridge. To restore this local landmark and return it to full operation of carrying about 56,000 vehicles per day, a quick, efficient, and well-planned repair effort was crucial.

Since RS&H had extensive experience with Mathews Bridge and an on-call contract, the Florida Department of Transportation relied on RS&H to manage the repair effort. In 2006, the FDOT decided to replace Mathews Bridge’s grating with a solid deck system. During the project, RS&H created a full 3D model of the bridge to identify the best durable surface that would also protect the steel. The deck was replaced with a rigid, lightweight Exodermic deck in 2007.

With the model in hand and knowledge of the bridge, RS&H prepared a bid package for potential contractors within 76 hours after impact. The package included a written agreement, scope of work, sequence of construction, and plans for temporary and permanent repairs.

The design team remained closely integrated during construction, participated in progress meetings, and visited the bridge site often. The team committed itself to rigorous 12-hour shop drawing reviews to help expedite construction, a process that normally takes up to 30 days. The contractor kept construction moving smoothly by conducting field meetings twice a day and was accessible 24 hours a day. The coordination and dedication of the entire team resulted in the bridge opening to traffic 12 days ahead of schedule and only 33 days after impact.

RS&H, in association with Five Studios, has produced, “In the Blink of an Eye,” a documentary detailing the story of the heroic repairs.

Click here for a longer version of the video.

I-295/I-95/SR 9A North Interchange

RS&H provided construction engineering and inspection (CEI) services for the I-295/I-95/SR 9A North Interchange Improvements Bridge Project for FDOT District 2. This project involved the new construction of a precast post-tensioned segmental bridge from southbound I-95 to
southbound I-295/eastbound.

The SR 9A bridge is the first in the world utilizing the tendon duct coupler system. This bridge is the first to incorporate a new complete FDOT approved internal post-tensioning system, including an internal duct coupler. This coupler provides an air-tight seal across the segment joints in order to ensure protection of the post-tensioned tendons during grouting. Filling the tendon ducts with grout during the pressure grouting process encases the post-tensioned strands and protects it from future corrosion.

The project not only included the new bridge, but also widened an existing bridge on SR 9A eastbound that passes over Main Street (US 17), as well as new overhead truss signs and new high mast lighting structures. One lane was added in each direction to I-295/SR 9A from I-95 to US 17. I-295 west of I-95 was designed to accommodate one additional lane in each direction in the future.
Services include:

  • Post tensioning duct and anchors, as well as grouting of tendons
  • Concrete placements during superstructure segment fabrication
  • Superstructure segment geometry control in the casting yard and during segment erection
  • Concrete cylinder pile and foundation construction
  • Concrete placement and post tensioning of bridge piers
  • Segment erection including segment epoxy jointing operations
  • All reinforcing steel
  • All bridge utility systems including bridge drainage and lighting
  • Demolition and removal of the existing bridge structure.
  • Guardrail installations
  • Erosion control plan and procedures
  • Maintenance of traffic plan and implementation
  • Application of Class 5 finish
  • Mast arm and traffic signage installation

Related Services: Construction Management

Ernest F. Lyons Bridge Replacement

The Ernest F. Lyons Bridge design-build replacement project involved the new construction of a precast post-tensioned segmental bridge over the Intracoastal Water Way/Indian River in the southwest Florida. RS&H provided construction engineering and inspection (CEI) services, ensuring all construction was completed within the allowable timeframe and budget, while overcoming several construction challenges.

The project was the first in Florida to use enhanced procedures for structure post-tensioning as part of the “New Directions for Florida Post-Tensioned Bridges,” the most stringent post-tensioning requirements in the nation.  The new procedures were a major priority for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and required the contractor to develop new comprehensive post-tensioning systems, as well as utilize stricter construction practices, new techniques, and new materials. Drawing on our extensive experience and expertise in post-tensioned segmental bridge construction, RS&H played a pivotal role in monitoring these activities and assisting the contractor in meeting the new requirements.

Additionally, the project crossed over a highly  environmentally sensitive area with many protected animal and plant species. Permitting took two months longer than originally anticipated due to contractual requirements; however, RS&H CS was able to assist the contractor in overcoming this delay, working in conjunction with the FDOT and local authorities to ensure the project stayed on schedule.  

During construction, the project site was also hit by three hurricanes, resulting in downtime and the need to make post-storm repairs.  RS&H was instrumental in performing immediate post-storm inspections, providing direction to the contractor for making important emergency repairs to the existing structures. The team also assisted the FDOT in preparing compensation for the contractor.   

The project was completed nine months ahead of the original estimate, a testament to the combined efforts of the design-build team, FDOT, and RS&H.

Related Services: Construction Management

Lake Road/Rutile Drive Bridges

The replacement of the Lake Road and Rutile Drive Bridges over the Ponte Vedra Canal included the removal of the existing timber bridges and construction of two new low-profile, two-span bridges using inverted concrete T beams and a shadow-box style concrete barrier wall. The project included maintenance of traffic, concrete pile driving, earthwork/grading, drainage improvements, flexible paving, concrete segmental retaining walls, and landscaping.  
RS&H provided construction engineering and inspection (CEI) services on the project, which included construction management, payment quantification, and the inspection of:

  • Pile driving, substructure and superstructure construction
  • Earthwork, asphalt, and concrete items for roadway construction
  • Drainage improvements and retention pond construction
  • Signals and conventional lighting
  • Utility installation and relocation
  • Erosion control plan and procedures
  • Maintenance of traffic plan and implementation

Related Services: Construction Management

Arlington/Southside Connector Interchange

RS&H provided construction engineering and inspection (CEI) services for this major steel tub girder bridge construction project in Jacksonville, Florida. The project included construction of two steel tub girder fly-over bridges using deep pile footings for future development, replacement of a double-barrel box culvert with an existing flow line 30 feet below the Arlington Expressway, widening of two ASHTO Type IV beam concrete bridges, realignment of the Arlington Expressway, realignment of the Regency Square Boulevard North Interchange, construction of a roundabout, and the resurfacing of the existing roadways.

The new fly-over ramps consisted of two side-by-side steel tub girders with span lengths up to 372 feet and Ramp B overall length of 1,552 feet. Each tub girder was approximately 10.5 feet by 10 feet.  A total of 5,000 tons of structural steel, 406 tons of reinforcing steel, and 3,879 CYDs of structural concrete was used to construct the bridges. Services included:

  • Inspection of girder fabrication, erection, and painting
  • Inspection of all reinforcing steel and concrete placement
  • Inspection of pile installation
  • Inspection of all bridge utility systems including drainage and lighting
  • Inspection of demolition and removal of bridge to facilitate widening
  • Inspection of earthwork, asphalt, and concrete placement for roadway construction
  • Inspection of drainage improvements and retention pond construction
  • Inspection of erosion control plan and procedures
  • Inspection of maintenance of traffic plan and implementation

Related Services: Construction Management

Beach Boulevard/ Kernan Boulevard Interchange

RS&H provided construction engineering and inspection (CEI) services for the Beach Boulevard/Kernan Boulevard Interchange design-build project. The project consisted of a steel girder bridge with post-tensioned integrated caps, MSE wall construction with reinforced earth at the bridge approaches, triple-barrel box culvert, new divided highway construction, curb and sidewalk construction, roadway lighting, signing, signalization, drainage, and landscaping.
During erection for the bridge over Beach Boulevard, the girders were supported on temporary shoring towers while the caps were formed, poured, and post-tensioned. The bridge has a maximum span length of 253 feet and an overall length of 515 feet. Six-hundred tons of structural steel, 100 tons of reinforcing steel, and 900 cubic yards of structural concrete were used to construct the bridge.

Maintenance of traffic and project phasing were very critical parts of this project due to the heavy volume of traffic that was present on both of these major streets. Temporary signals were used to control traffic at the intersection until construction allowed for the permanent signals to be used.
Services included:

  • Inspection of girder fabrication, erection, and painting
  • Inspection of the high-strength bolting procedures at field splices
  • Inspection of all reinforcing steel, concrete placement, pile installation
  • Inspection of all bridge utility systems including drainage
  • Inspection of utility work and lighting
  • Inspection of earthwork, asphalt, and concrete items for roadway construction
  • Inspection of drainage improvements and retention pond construction
  • Inspection of erosion control devices and enforcement of the erosion control plan
  • Inspection of the implementation of the maintenance of traffic plan

Related Services: Construction Management