In October 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall on Mexico Beach, Florida, as a Category 5 storm. After waves nearly three times as high as the average human being pounded the shore, virtually nothing remained of the small coastal town that had populated 1,600 residents.
About five months after the hurricane, when roads were still littered with debris and SR 30 (US 98) – a major thoroughfare in Bay County – was still unrecognizable by satellites, RS&H was enlisted by the Florida Department of Transportation District 3 to provide construction, engineering and inspection services for more than three miles of the roadway. The project was the first step in allowing citizens and first responders back into the area, including paved shoulders, front slopes, guardrail, drainage, concrete and pedestrian features for the roadway that runs parallel to the Gulf Coast. The team also oversaw the installation of an Articulating Concrete Block (ACB) Wall, which would help protect the underlaying roadbed from washing away in the event of another storm.
The team was challenged with an expedited schedule, a sensitive environment with the roadway a few hundred feet from the Emerald Coast’s white sand beaches, special MOT considerations, as well as having to perform surveying and engineering design in the field due to a lack of adequate plans. The project included more than 5,000 LF of ACB, the installation of Fabriform at the bridge approaches, as well as meticulous materials sourcing in order to meet the standards of the existing conditions.
Upon completion, the project was awarded with Florida Transportation Builder’s Association Best in Construction award for Special Significance.