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Source : ContractorNews.com
January 26, 2021
Author : Patty Rodriguez
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has announced new updates on the Pensacola Bay Bridge Recovery Effort, aiming to wrap everything up and open up all four lanes to vehicular traffic some time in March.
In a press release, FDOT announced that it has poured the concrete for the first new bridge deck on the massive project.
An additional piling driving crew has been added to "ensure pile driving efforts remain on schedule,” the press release states. “These crews are tasked with moving the pile driving template, working on pier removal, clearing the bottom of the bay from any debris, and driving piles into the bay floor utilizing a 20,000-pound diesel-powered hammer.”
So far, eight fully damaged spans have been removed; 13 partially damaged ones removed; 21 damaged pedestrian path beams were removed; 66 damaged I-beams have been removed; five damaged trophy pieces were removed; and 30 replacement piles have been driven.
Prior to Hurricane Salley hitting Florida in September of 2020, the construction giant Skanska USA was contracted to help with construction on the 15,640ft bridge, nicknamed the “Three Mile Bridge.” The behemoth bridge was damaged in September by Hurricane Salley when barges owned by Skanska broke free and crashed into the bridge.
Shortly after, FDOT noted the financial impact of bridge closures on local businesses and quickly found ways to develop alternative travel methods, as well as implement a plan to have the bridge repaired in short order.
"It is critical that their customers have access to their business and that they continue to patronize these businesses, in spite of the disruption of traffic," FDOT said.
In early October, the repairs in the wake of the Hurricane were expected to take sixth months, so things are on schedule.
The Three Mile Bridge was originally opened in 1931 but in 2011 a fishing pier was added that was also damaged by Sally. According to the US Army Corp of Engineers, the pier was 85 percent damaged.
With the pier’s original construction costing $23.8 million in 2011, the reconstruction costs are likely to be even greater due to labor and material costs. In total, bridge construction costs are expected to cost $430 million.
Check out our YouTube to watch an FDOT video on demolition and a simulation explaining the reconstruction process, and don’t forget to subscribe!
(Image: Florida Department of Transportation)