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. 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 U.S. 1/SR 5. Once constructed, the bridge will ease congestion, speed emergency response times, and provide an alternative emergency evacuation route.
The location of the bridge required the team to develop several different drainage designs to address the particular needs of the environments. The team used a treatment train methodology on the western side of the bridge, which is more residential and an environmentally sensitive area. Wide grassed dry retention swales provide pre-treatment for roadway runoff prior to overflow into a wet detention pond with ultimate discharge to the South Fork of the St. Lucie River. On the eastern side of the bridge, which is more commercialized, a closed system with curb inlets and pipes collects and conveys stormwater runoff into a dry retention/detention pond with overflow into the Coral Gardens Creek. All bridge runoff is accommodated with bridge deck drainage, which conveys into the proposed stormwater management systems and is designed to meet water quality, attenuation, floodplain, and nutrient loading reduction requirements.
RS&H completed the design on an accelerated schedule with all environmental permits submitted within 24 days of contract execution. The team undertook an extensive effort to complete the necessary drainage plans, drainage report, and documentation required to obtain the required environmental permits for this project and to subsequently defend the permit approval in a Division of Administrative Hearing. The obtained permits included a South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Individual Environmental Resource Permit, SFWMD Water Use for Dewatering Permit, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Dredge/Fill Permit, and U.S. Coast Guard Bridge Permit.
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.