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Highways & Local Roads

Ulmerton Road Widening

During design for the widening of Ulmerton Road in Pinellas County, Florida, RS&H identified an innovative solution that saved the Florida Department of Transportation over $13 million in right-of-way costs, while simultaneously accommodating two adjacent projects for the county.

In addition to widening 1.5 miles of the corridor while adding bicycle lanes and five-foot sidewalks, the original design called for extending the road north to avoid impacts to a large and unsafe drainage ditch along the south side of the corridor. Shifting the roadway north would require substantial right-of-way acquisition. However, since the ditch was within the existing right-of-way, RS&H recommended creating a box culvert to convey the stormwater in lieu of the ditch, thus allowing the corridor to shift south instead. This alternative reduced costs from just over $17 million to approximately $3.48 million and ultimately improved safety within the corridor.

Early in the project, the team also learned that the county was planning to extend the multi-use Pinellas Trail by constructing a $3.5 million pedestrian bridge over Ulmerton Road. The county also planned improvements to the intersecting Cross Bayou Canal, which is a designated blueway. To accommodate both projects, RS&H designed a three-span concrete bridge for Ulmerton Road’s crossing of the canal, which also included a pedestrian ramp that merged the trail extension with the newly widened roadway. This alternative added to the cost of the widening project, but ultimately saved over $1.5 million from what the county would have spent on a completely separate pedestrian bridge.

Related Services:  Water Resources

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

Little Rock Road Intersection Improvements

The intersection of Little Rock Road and Abe Street/Creek Road is located adjacent to Plano High School in Illinois and experiences high peak-hour volumes of traffic as students travel to and from school.

RS&H provided preliminary planning and design engineering services for improvements to the existing intersection, including alternative intersection evaluations, traffic and crash studies, planning studies, detailed design, utility coordination, construction document preparation, and public coordination. Intersection alternatives included signalization, adding turn lanes, and a roundabout. Upon completion of the preliminary planning phase, a roundabout was selected as the preferred alternative.

As the first roundabout in the area, careful consideration was given during the planning and design phase as to the implementation of such an important, high-profile project. Once constructed, the roundabout will not only accommodate the future growth of the surrounding area, but also ensure safe and efficient traffic flow and operations.  

Read more about the project in The Beacon-News article, “Roundabout proposed for Kendall intersection,” featuring RS&H’s James Shaw.

Related Services:  Engineering | Planning

I-40/440 Pavement Reconstruction

One of the most high-profile projects in North Carolina, the I-40/440 project will reconstruct 11.5 miles of interstate along the southern leg of the Raleigh Beltline. Most of the roadway is more than 30 years old and is crumbling due to an alkali-silica reaction (ASR) between the aggregate and the cement. The design-build project will replace the pavement, as well as include minor widening, providing a safer surface.

Teamed with Granite Construction, RS&H is serving as the prime design consultant and has provided several design innovations that will help to reduce costs and ease public concerns. One of the most significant design solutions includes replacing the recommended grass median with a median barrier section, which provides an additional third lane in each direction during construction to increase capacity and ease gridlock.

Although NCDOT had estimated a project cost of more than $190 million, the design-build team was able to shave more than $50 million from the project costs due to innovations and cost savings strategies. Ultimately, the project will be an improvement for motorists and will sustain this economic lifeline for the state.

Orlando International Airport Loop Road Improvements

As one of Florida’s largest airports in terms of annual passengers, the Orlando International Airport is conveniently located near area theme parks and services one of the largest car rental markets in the U.S. The Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) is expanding on-airport car rental facilities, including the Rent-A-Car Quick Turn Around and Permanent Bus Hold Area, as well as expanding and relocating the Cell Lot and Taxi Holding Area. To accommodate these facilities, the Hubbard/RS&H design-build team completed the design and construction of 1.5 miles of improvements to Airport Loop Road, the airport’s entrance road.

The main objective of the project was to add a travel lane in select areas along Airport Loop Road to facilitate access and circulation. We developed recommendations to realign the roadway and refine the geometrics to avoid walls and reduce construction costs. We also successfully value engineered 30 percent of the project scope, resulting in over $1 million in savings to GOAA.

Because of the interdependency of each facility and the importance of maintaining continued operation, the team developed a roadway design and construction program to minimize impacts to the existing facilities. This plan provided seamless access for airport users during the construction operations and allowed for the close coordination of both the facility and roadway improvement projects.

Related Services: Design-Build

I-75 Rest Areas

RS&H has set the bar in designing Florida’s first ultra-modern, "green" rest areas located along I-75 in Pasco County, Florida. Striving to achieve the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) first LEED® Silver certified project, we exceeded expectations by attaining Gold. The project, which features light sensors, waterless toilets, and many other earth-friendly elements, will serve as a prototype for future rest areas throughout the state.

Rather than renovate the existing rest areas, which lacked adequate parking and presented safety concerns, FDOT opted to construct completely new facilities, providing a blank canvas for incorporating "green" design principles. Using the LEED checklist as a guideline, we developed several sustainable design elements for the project, including the recycling of existing asphalt, use of waterless toilets, native and drought-tolerant plants, low-volume irrigation, and parking for fuel-efficient vehicles.

The project is also the first in the state to use continuously reinforced concrete pavement. The new technology uses reinforcing steels bars within the concrete, which reduces long-term maintenance costs of the facility. The concrete pavement is also more reflective, reducing the heat island effect of the rest areas.

Throughout the design process, RS&H used onsite illustrations and signs to inform the traveling public on ways FDOT is applying sustainable design principles to its projects. We also worked to ensure that the northbound rest area access ramps are compatible with future I-75 widening efforts by closely coordinating with teams from four other adjacent construction projects.

Related Services: Sustainable Solutions

95 Express Managed Lanes

To improve congestion on I-95, the 95 Express project in South Florida set out to convert existing high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, or managed lanes. Due to design, operational, and safety issues that can arise when adding managed lanes to an existing highway system, the Florida Department of Transportation partnered with RS&H to to conduct a study that would ensure the express lanes would not disrupt the integrity or safe operations of the corridor.  

Using traffic modeling software, RS&H analyzed traffic operations for the intermediate northbound and southbound HOT lanes access and terminal points. The team successfully integrated the design and operational analysis phases of the project in a feedback loop to ensure that the addition of HOT lanes to the inside of I-95 would not compromise operations or safety. The models provided a complete picture of the proposed operations, which justified the need for the managed lanes project, as well as led to several recommendations for design improvements.  The study ultimately accelerated approval and implementation of the project.

Since opening in 2009, the new express lanes have improved mobility and overall quality of life for drivers along one of the nation’s most heavily traveled corridors.

Related Services: Visualization

Farm-to-Market Road 1626

RS&H performed construction engineering and inspection (CEI) on Farm-to-Market Road 1626, a major route second only to Interstate 35 in traffic volume just south of Austin, Texas. This TxDOT Pass-Through-Financing Toll Project reconstructed 3.6 miles of the road north in Hays County to Brodie Lane in Travis County.

The reconstructed roadalleviated congestion by adding capacity and reducing the accident rate. According to TxDOT, in 2004, an average of 12,800 vehicles a day used the road and that volume is projected to rise to more than 20,000 by 2024. The project consisted of widening the road to an overall pavement width of 82 feet that would consist of four travel lanes (two in each direction), a continuous left turn lane, and shoulders. By improving both the horizontal and vertical alignments of the roadway and establishing a 30-foot clear zone, sight distances along the roadway were improved, thereby increasing the safety of the roadway.

Services included inspection of:

  • All rebar and concrete placement for box culvert construction
  • Utility and drainage work
  • Earthwork, asphalt, and concrete items for roadway construction
  • Retention pond construction
  • Milling depths and cross slopes
  • Street lighting and signalization
  • Structural and friction course spread rates and cross slopes
  • Guardrail installations
  • Erosion control plan and procedures
  • Maintenance of traffic plan and implementation

Related Services: Construction Management

Reconstruction of CR 54 East

RS&H CS provided construction engineering and inspection (CEI) services on the reconstruction of four miles of CR 54 from Old Pasco Road to the beginning of the Zephyrhills By-Pass for Pasco County, Florida. The original timeline for this project was three and a half to four years. However, the county requested that the contractor put the project on a fast track, and the project was completed in two years.

This project consisted of the complete demolition of the existing two-lane roadway for construction of a new six-lane divided highway that included drainage improvements, retention ponds, sidewalks, a multi-use path, MSE walls, gravity walls, utility relocation and improvements, highway lighting, signalized intersections, mitigation areas, and median landscaping. In addition to the reconstruction of CR 54, the project included the construction of two new roadways.

This project completes an eight-year process of improving traffic flow through the Wesley Chapel area. RS&H CS has been fortunate to be part of the county’s team since 2004, providing CEI services for both re-construction projects on CR 54. 

Services included:

  • Construction Management and Inspection
  • Verification Testing
  • Utility Relocation Coordination and Inspection
  • Utility Permit Reviews
  • Right of Way Inventory and Survey
  • Constructability and Schedule Reviews
  • Contamination Abatement Coordination
  • Structure Demolition Inspection
  • Debris/Trash Removal Coordination and Inspection
  • Maintenance of Traffic Plan Reviews and Inspection
  • Erosion Control Plan Reviews and Inspection
  • Traffic Signal and Highway Lighting Inspection
  • Landscape, Mitigation, and Pond Inspection
  • MSE and Gravity Wall Inspection
  • Asphalt, Concrete, and Earthwork Inspection

Related Services: Construction Management

Group 94 I-95 Widening Design-Build Projects

RS&H provided construction engineering and inspection (CEI) services for the Group 94 I-95 Design-Build Widening Projects for FDOT District Five in Brevard County. These two projects included the widening of I-95 to six lanes with a divided median, including state road interchanges, exit/entrance ramps, utility work, and cross streets.

The first project was 10 miles and involved paving a six-lane section and bridge widening along I-95 between SR-528 and SR-519. Detours were used for beam setting, and rolling roadblocks were used to move equipment across the roadway. By doing this, there were no impacts to the traveling public and no incidents recorded.

The second project was 18 miles and involved inside widening to a six-lane section with bridge widening, bridge replacements, and a new interchange along I-95 between SR-519 and Palm Bay. Rolling roadblocks were used to move equipment across the roadway and no incidents were recorded.

Services included inspection of:

  • Erosion control plan implementation and maintenance
  • Maintenance of traffic plan and implementation
  • Earthwork for roadway construction
  • Placement and compaction of base, structural, and friction courses
  • Placement and curing concrete pavement
  • Drainage improvements and retention pond construction
  • Installation of storm drainage utilities
  • Reinforcing steel placement and ties for concrete pavement
  • Landscaping, tree placement, sodding and seeding
  • Demolition and removal of existing bridge structure
  • Steel girder erection
  • Bridge utility systems including bridge drainage and lighting
  • Drilled shaft and foundation construction
  • Pile driving construction
  • Gravity wall construction
  • Concrete placement for bridge construction
  • Permanent retaining wall construction
  • Guardrail and fencing installation

Related Services: Construction Management