A design-build team of Stantec and Condotte America has announced the completion of the two bridges in the Tamiami Trail (Florida State Road 90) elevation project, which have used the latest construction technologies to lessen impact in an environmentally sensitive area.
The two bridges, totaling 2.3 miles (3.7km) in length, with a construction cost of US$72m, replace the existing roadway bed located within western Miami-Dade County to restore natural water flow into Everglades National Park and increase ecological connectivity between the park and water conservation areas. The project is part of a multi-phase effort by the US National Parks Service and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to meet the goals of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) to restore, preserve and protect the South Florida ecosystem while providing for other water-related needs of the region. The bridges restore the historic hydraulic flow from north of the Tamiami Trail to the Shark River Slough south of the highway.
Infrastructure consultancy Stantec served as lead designer on the project, including roadway, structures, drainage, utility coordination, signing and pavement markings, design surveys, and environmental support. As construction lead, Condotte managed design-build services, including foundations, substructure and bridge deck, along with earthwork projects, including canal excavation, and roadway-related activities. To minimize the environmental impact during construction, the Stantec and Condotte team took precautions that limited the work-zone footprint on the protected land. This included the use of Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques that improved the project delivery time, material quality, product durability and work zone safety. The ABC methodology allows sections or all of the replacement bridge to be prefabricated off-site, then transported to the work zone and put in place.
In addition to improved water flow, the bridges also incorporate a drainage system that facilitates the complete treatment of stormwater runoff, further minimizing the environmental impact. The drain includes a series of cleanout ports that simplify long-term maintenance of the drainage system and eliminates the use of heavy equipment during cleaning operations. The completion of this project follows the opening of another bridge section in October 2018 and advances the Tamiami Trail Modifications: Next Steps initiative for restoring waterflow throughout the ecosystem.
Stantec has a long history of helping FDOT deliver improved transportation across the state. Among recent projects, the company worked on the award-winning US$71.8m I-75 bridge widening over the Caloosahtchee River, which incorporated the same ABC techniques, and the similarly environmentally sensitive Wekiva Parkway project.
“Ensuring the stability and protection of an ecosystem as sensitive as the Everglades was a top priority for our team at the outset,” said Juan Restrepo, principal at Stantec. “We worked diligently with our partners at Condotte to develop solutions that expedited the construction process, limited the impact to the wetlands, and protected local plant and animal species. We’re proud to be a part of the Everglades restoration efforts and to help preserve the park for generations to come.”
Andres Mendoza, president of Condotte America, commented, “We are pleased once again to have successfully completed another design-build project with our partner Stantec. Their expertise and top-level project staffing enabled us to deliver this environmentally critical project significantly under the FDOT’s budget and estimated timeframe.”